Rado was born in Budapest, Hungary but emigrated with his family to Britain at the age of eight. He studied at King's College School, Wimbledon, London and Christ's College, Cambridge and began work in journalism at a local newspaper. He then joined BBC News as a radio reporter, then ITN in 1985 as a writer before transferring to ITN's Channel 4 News in 1988.
Rado was a high-profile foreign correspondent at Channel 4 News, serving as Moscow correspondent. He worked in Bosnia during the war there, including Srebrenica, and subsequently covered the trial of Slobodan Milošević, work which won him two of his three Amnesty International awards. He also covered the war in Afghanistan and the status of the Uyghur in western China.
Rado was working in Iraq during the war when his body was found. It is believed that he fell from the roof of the Abu Sanaa hotel in Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq, into the car park below where his body was found. It appeared to be an accident unconnected with any military activity. He was given first aid but was pronounced dead at the nearby hospital. Rado was the second ITN journalist to die in Iraq in the same month, with his fellow reporter, Terry Lloyd, killed after coming under fire.
Rado had two children by his first wife, Carol Rado. He lost his young son in a swimming accident in 1991. He met his second wife, Desa, whilst on assignment in Serbia.