Silicon carbide has long been a promising material for semiconductor applications in high-temperature environments. Although silicon carbide radiation detectors were demonstrated more than a half century ago, the unavailability of high-quality materials and device manufacturing techniques hindered further development until about twenty years ago. In the late twentieth century, the development of advanced SiC crystal growth and epitaxial chemical vapor deposition methods spurred rapid development of silicon carbide charged particle, X-ray and neutron detectors. The history and status of silicon carbide radiation detectors as well as the influence of materials and device packaging limitations on future detector development will be discussed. Specific silicon carbide materials development needs will be identified.