A man once called “America’s most famous whistleblower” has died at the age of 92. In 1968, A. Ernest Fitzgerald, a top financial manager for the Air Force, revealed a $2.3 billion cost overrun in the Air Forces’ Lockheed C-5 aircraft program. He did it before Congress and in defiance of his superiors.
Under oath, he said the C-5A was $2 billion over budget. In testifying, Mr. Fitzgerald later said, he was merely “committing truth.” The revelation about the vast cost overruns made national headlines, stunning members of Congress as well as Mr. Fitzgerald’s superiors.
In 1996, he received the Paul H. Douglas Award, given each year to a “government official … whose public actions or writings have made a significant contribution to the practice and understanding of ethical behavior in government.”
A biography posted on the award program website described the retribution against Fitzgerald.