Adlai Stevenson II
American diplomat
Adlai Stevenson II
Adlai Ewing Stevenson II was an American politician, noted for his intellectual demeanor, eloquent oratory, and promotion of liberal causes in the Democratic Party. He served as the 31st Governor of Illinois, and received the Democratic Party's nomination for president in 1952 and 1956; both times he was defeated by Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower. He sought the Democratic presidential nomination for a third time in the election of 1960, but was defeated by Senator John F.
Biography
Adlai Stevenson II's personal information overview.
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In Tapes, Candid Talk by Young Kennedy Widow
NYTimes - over 5 years
In the early days of the Cuban missile crisis, before the world knew that the cold war seemed to be sliding toward nuclear conflict, President John F. Kennedy telephoned his wife, Jacqueline, at their weekend house in Virginia. From his voice, she would say later, she could tell that something was wrong. Why don't you come back to Washington? he
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Book Review: GAY LETTERS From Millicent to Maude - Gayapolis
Google News - over 5 years
With mentions and anecdotes about Colette, Adlai Stevenson, Lillian Gish, Gary Grant, Randolph, Blanche DuBois, Dorothy Kilgallen, Tab Hunter and Tallulah Bankhead to name but just a few notable individuals of yesteryear! The writings are bitchy,
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A fresh look at an old political nemesis - Irish Echo
Google News - over 5 years
Even in church, in 1956, I remember Father Murphy telling the people at Mass that he would be the first one in line on Tuesday to vote for Adlai Stevenson for president. In 1964, conservative Republican presidential candidate, Senator Barry Goldwater,
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Why Another Democrat Wouldn't Do Better Than Obama in 2012 - New York Times (blog)
Google News - over 5 years
Certainly, Mr. Truman and Mr. Johnson had other concerns to deal with, like the Vietnam and Korean Wars. But Adlai Stevenson and Hubert Humphrey were attacked on those issues just as an incumbent might have been
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Entertainment calendar for Aug. 25 - Lake Forester
Google News - over 5 years
A self-directed walking tour of the grounds is available, featuring exhibit panels on the history of the property and Adlai Stevenson II. Grounds are open daily, 6:30 am to sunset. Visit www.LCFPD.org or call (847) 968-3321. Deerfield Historic Village
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Adrian's gallant fight for life - Inquirer.net
Google News - over 5 years
Adlai Stevenson, who became a US Presidential candidate. Adlai had an only brother and no sisters. One summer, on a hunting trip, Adlai accidentally shot his younger brother. He was so distraught and crying all the time that he could not focus on his
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ROY A. HARRELL: Political gridlock likely until a party gets, keeps big majority - San Angelo Standard Times
Google News - over 5 years
... in 1952 and again in 1956 many were questioning whether they could or would continue to support Republican and native Texan Dwight D. Eisenhower or return to the Democratic Party, which was headed by Adlai Stevenson, a former governor of Illinois
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Thompson, Stevenson seek hearing on police torture claims - Chicago Sun-Times
Google News - over 5 years
Adlai Stevenson III and other legal and political heavyweights are asking the Illinois Supreme Court to order hearings into claims by prisoners that they were tortured by former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge and his detectives
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Bernard Schoenburg: Hannig kin gets Equality Illinois post - Suburban Life Publications
Google News - over 5 years
ADLAI STEVENSON III, organized the press office of then-Chicago Mayor HAROLD WASHINGTON and was a consultant, Olson said. He also was spokesman for a time for the Democratic gubernatorial campaign of GLENN POSHARD in 1998. A Springfield newspaper story
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A Yacht, A Mustache: How A President Hid His Tumor - NPR
Google News - over 5 years
When they reached the Capitol, Cleveland and Harrison went inside the Senate chamber for the swearing in of Vice President Adlai Stevenson. (Stevenson was the grandfather of the 1952 and 1956 Democratic presidential nominee of the same name
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Interviews: Hollywood Legends Ernest Borgnine, Bruce Dern - HollywoodChicago.com
Google News - over 5 years
His great uncle was famous poet Archibald MacLeish, and because of the family's political roots, met both Eleanor Roosevelt and presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson, who was his godfather. He was married to actress Diane Ladd, his daughter from that
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4th of July quotes for this Independence Day weekend - kypost.com
Google News - over 5 years
It is a political and moral fact - the first community in which men set out in principle to institutionalize freedom, responsible government, and human equality. - Adlai Stevenson Where liberty dwells, there is my country. - Benjamin Franklin
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Lawton Posey: Memoir by Eisenhower grandson an evenhanded portrait - Charleston Gazette
Google News - over 5 years
My parents, always Democrats in their leanings, had chosen the military hero over the intellectual and thoughtful Adlai Stevenson. I was somewhat disturbed, and as I drove our huge Dodge to the barbershop, I wondered what the election might mean
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Lew A liberal GOP says it trusts - Politico
Google News - over 5 years
... suspended last week, White House Budget Director Jack Lew was loping down his old street in Forest Hills, Queens, pointing out the old second-floor office of the Adlai Stevenson Democratic Club where he used to stuff envelopes for Gene McCarthy
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Faith United Methodist Church in Macomb Township bids longtime pastor goodbye - New Baltimore Voice Newspapers
Google News - over 5 years
Marion Pohly took his first appointment as a Methodist minister, Elvis Presley made his first appearance on the "Ed Sullivan Show," Dwight D. Eisenhower defeated Adlai Stevenson for the US presidency, and "I Love Lucy" wasn't yet a classic television
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Adlai Stevenson II
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1965
    Age 65
    Adlia Stevenson II was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 1965 in the area of Government.
    More Details Hide Details Stevenson has been referenced in television episodes of The Simpsons (in the episodes "Lisa the Iconoclast" and "The Secret War of Lisa Simpson" (appearing in the latter as a filmstrip, with Harry Shearer providing the cartoon Stevenson's voice), The Golden Girls, Happy Days (in the January 28, 1975, episode "The Not Making of the President") and Mystery Science Theater 3000s presentation of Manos: The Hands of Fate (a Stevenson lookalike buys a car and one of the MST3K characters comments on it). Murphy Brown briefly names her newborn son 'Adlai Stevenson'. Stevenson has also been referenced in films. Peter Sellers claimed that his portrayal of President Merkin Muffley in Dr. Strangelove was modeled on Stevenson. Stevenson's "Don't wait for the translation" speech to Russian ambassador Valerian Zorin during the Cuban Missile Crisis inspired dialogue in a courtroom scene in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The historical speech itself is depicted in the 2000 film Thirteen Days with Michael Fairman playing Stevenson, as well as partially depicted in the 1974 television play The Missiles of October by Ralph Bellamy. Stevenson is also referenced in Wayne's World 2 ("Waynestock" is held in an Aurora, Illinois park named for Stevenson), Plain Clothes (the high school is named for Stevenson), Annie Hall (Woody Allen's character tells a standup joke about the Stevenson-Eisenhower campaign) and Breakfast at Tiffany's.
    In July 1965 Stevenson traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, to attend the annual meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
    More Details Hide Details After the conference he stopped in London for several days, where he visited British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, discussed the situation in South Vietnam with British officials, and was interviewed by CBS newsman Eric Sevareid. On the afternoon of July 14, while walking in London with his aide and romantic partner Marietta Tree through Grosvenor Square, Stevenson suffered a massive heart attack, and died later that day of heart failure at St George's Hospital. He was 65 years old. Marietta Tree recalled: As we were walking along the street he said do not walk quite so fast and do hold your head up Marietta. I was burrowing ahead trying to get to the park as quickly as possible and then the next thing I knew, I turned around and I saw he'd gone white, gray really, and he fell and his hand brushed me as he fell and he hit the pavement with the most terrible crack and I thought he'd fractured his skull.
  • 1963
    Age 63
    Afterwards, Stevenson warned President Kennedy's advisers about the "ugly and frightening" mood he had found in Dallas, but Kennedy went ahead with his planned visit to Dallas in late November 1963. After President Kennedy was assassinated, Stevenson continued to serve in his position as Ambassador to the UN under President Lyndon Johnson. As the country moved toward the 1964 presidential election, the war in Vietnam became an important campaign issue.
    More Details Hide Details The Republican presidential candidate, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, advocated victory in Vietnam—a rollback strategy that Johnson denounced as tantamount to nuclear war. Stevenson was not a major player on the Vietnam issue. He did support Johnson publicly and in private because he believed in the containment of communism, but he also wanted to start negotiations with North Vietnam through the United Nations, which Johnson rejected.
    In October 1963 Stevenson spoke in Dallas, Texas, where he was shouted down by unruly protestors led by retired General Edwin Walker's "National Indignation Convention".
    More Details Hide Details At one point a woman hit Stevenson on the head with a sign, leading Stevenson to remark "is she animal or human?", and telling a policeman "I don't want her to go to jail, I want her to go to school."
  • 1962
    Age 62
    During the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, Stevenson gave a presentation at an emergency session of the Security Council.
    More Details Hide Details In his presentation, which attracted national television coverage, he forcefully asked Soviet UN representative Valerian Zorin if his country was installing nuclear missiles in Cuba, and when Zorin appeared reluctant to reply, Stevenson punctuated with the demand "Don't wait for the translation, answer 'yes' or 'no'!" When Zorin replied that "I am not in an American court of law, and therefore do not answer a question put to me in the manner of a prosecuting counsel you will have your answer in due course", Stevenson retorted, "I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over." Stevenson then showed photographs taken by a U-2 spy plane which proved the existence of nuclear missiles in Cuba, just after Zorin had implied they did not exist. Stevenson also attended several meetings of the EXCOMM at the White House during the Missile Crisis, where he boldly proposed to make an exchange with the Soviets: if they would remove their missiles from Cuba, the United States would agree to remove its obsolete Jupiter missiles from Turkey. However, he faced strong opposition from some other EXCOMM members, who regarded such an exchange as a sign of weakness. According to Kennedy adviser and Stevenson friend George W. Ball, who was present, these members "intemperately upbraided Stevenson were outraged and shrill." However, President Kennedy remarked "You have to admire Adlai, he sticks to his position even when everyone is jumping on him", and Robert Kennedy wrote that "Stevenson has since been criticized for the position he took at the meeting although I disagreed strongly with his recommendations, I thought he was courageous to make them, and I might add that they made as much sense as some others considered during that period of time."
  • 1961
    Age 61
    In April 1961 Stevenson suffered the greatest humiliation of his diplomatic career in the Bay of Pigs invasion.
    More Details Hide Details After hearing rumors that "a lot of refugees wanted to go back and overthrow Castro", Stevenson voiced his skepticism about an invasion, but "he was kept on the fringes of the operation, receiving nine days before the invasion, only an unduly vague briefing by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. and a CIA official." Senior CIA official Tracy Barnes told Stevenson and his staff that "there was going to be a clandestine operation in Cuba it was strictly a Cuban affair. It would have some American cooperation, but only with the training and financing." According to historian Peter Wyden, Barnes did not tell Stevenson that there would be a large-scale invasion of Cuba, nor did he provide details about CIA-built and supplied training camps for the rebels in Guatemala, nor did he tell Stevenson about the planned air strikes to destroy Castro's air force. Assistant Secretary of State Harlan Cleveland, who attended the briefing, concluded that Barnes was "too evasive", that he had been sent to reassure Stevenson that Kennedy "knew what he was doing", and that "evidently Stevenson was not to be told" the full details of the invasion plan. Kennedy, anticipating that Stevenson might be angered at being left out of the discussions over whether to invade Cuba, told Schlesinger that "the integrity and credibility of Adlai Stevenson constitute one of our great national assets. I don't want to do anything to jeopardize that", and he asked Schlesinger to let Stevenson know that the president was shielding him from many of the details to protect him in case the clandestine operation failed.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1960
    Age 60
    According to Stevenson biographer John Bartlow Martin, the phone conversation with Daley "was the real end of the 1960 Stevenson candidacy if he could not get the support of his home state his candidacy was doomed."
    More Details Hide Details However, Stevenson continued to work for the nomination the next day, fulfilling what he felt were obligations to old friends and supporters such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Agnes Meyer. Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota delivered an impassioned nominating speech for Stevenson, urging the convention to not "reject the man who has made us proud to be Democrats. Do not leave this prophet without honor in his own party." However, Kennedy won the nomination on the first ballot with 806 delegate votes; Stevenson finished in fourth place with 79.5 votes. Once Kennedy won the nomination, Stevenson, always an enormously popular public speaker, campaigned actively for him. Due to his two presidential nominations and previous United Nations experience, Stevenson perceived himself an elder statesman and the natural choice for Secretary of State. However, according to historian Robert Dallek, "neither Jack nor Bobby Kennedy thought all that well of Stevenson they saw him as rather prissy and ineffective. Stevenson never met their standard of tough-mindedness." Stevenson's refusal to publicly endorse Kennedy before the Democratic Convention was something that Kennedy "couldn't forgive", with JFK telling a Stevenson supporter after the election, "I'm not going to give him anything." The prestigious post of Secretary of State went instead to the (then) little-known Dean Rusk. However, "although Jack and Bobby would have been just as happy to freeze Stevenson out of the administration, they felt compelled to offer him something" due to his continued support from progressive Democrats.
    At the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, Stevenson's admirers, led by Eleanor Roosevelt, Agnes Meyer, and such Hollywood celebrities as Dore Schary and Henry Fonda, vigorously promoted him for the nomination, even though he was not an announced candidate.
    More Details Hide Details JFK's campaign manager, his brother Robert F. Kennedy, reportedly threatened Stevenson in a meeting, telling him that unless he agreed to place his brother's name in nomination "you are through." Stevenson refused and ordered him out of his hotel room. The night before the balloting Stevenson began working actively for the nomination, calling the leaders of several state delegations to ask for their support. The key call went to Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, the leader of the Illinois delegation. The delegation had already voted to give Kennedy 59.5 votes to Stevenson's 2, but Stevenson told Daley that he now wanted the Democratic nomination, and asked him if the "delegates' vote might merely indicate they thought he was not a candidate." Daley told Stevenson that he had no support in the delegation. Stevenson then "asked if this meant no support in fact or no support because the delegates thought he was not a candidate. Daley replied that Stevenson had no support."
    In May 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy, who was actively campaigning for the Democratic nomination, visited Stevenson at his Libertyville home.
    More Details Hide Details Kennedy asked Stevenson for a public endorsement of his candidacy; in exchange Kennedy promised, if elected, to appoint Stevenson as his Secretary of State. Stevenson turned down the offer, which strained relations between the two men.
    In early 1960 Stevenson announced that he would not seek a third Democratic presidential nomination, but would accept a draft.
    More Details Hide Details One of his closest friends told a journalist that "Deep down, he wants Democratic nomination. But he wants the Democratic Convention to come to him, he doesn't want to go to the Convention."
    He sought the Democratic presidential nomination for a third time in the election of 1960, but was defeated by Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts.
    More Details Hide Details After his election, President Kennedy appointed Stevenson as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He served from 1961 to 1965.
  • 1957
    Age 57
    Early in 1957, Stevenson resumed law practice, allying himself with Judge Simon H. Rifkind to create a law firm based in Washington, D.C. (Stevenson, Paul, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison), and a second firm in Chicago (Stevenson, Rifkind & Wirtz).
    More Details Hide Details Both law firms were related to New York City's Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. Stevenson's associates in the new law firm included Willard Wirtz, William McCormick Blair Jr., and Newton N. Minow; each of these men would later serve in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. He also accepted an appointment, along with other prominent Democrats, to the new Democratic Advisory Council, which "pursued an aggressive line in attacking the Republican Eisenhower administration and in developing new Democratic policies." He was also employed part-time by the Encyclopædia Britannica as a legal consultant.
  • 1956
    Age 56
    In Michael P. Kube-McDowell's alternate history novel Alternities, Stevenson is mentioned as having been elected president in 1956 and serving for two terms, though he is quoted as describing his second term as a curse.
    More Details Hide Details
    Stevenson again won the nomination at the 1956 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, becoming the last Unitarian to be nominated for the presidency by a major party.
    More Details Hide Details He was aided by strong support from younger delegates, who were said to form the core of the "New Politics" movement. He permitted the convention delegates to choose Senator Kefauver as his running mate, despite stiff competition from Senator John F. Kennedy. Following his nomination, Stevenson waged a vigorous presidential campaign, delivering 300 speeches and traveling. He called on the electorate to join him in a march to a "new America", based on a progressive agenda that anticipated the programs of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. His call for a Partial Test Ban Treaty to aboveground nuclear weapons tests proved premature and lost him support. Civil rights was emerging rapidly as a major political issue. Stevenson urged caution and warned against aggressive enforcement of the Supreme Court's Brown decision in order to gain Southern white support. Kotlowski writes:
    In 1956 he was again the Democratic presidential nominee against Eisenhower, but was defeated in an even greater landslide.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1954
    Age 54
    In Billy Wilder's 1954 romantic comedy film Sabrina, the Larrabee family are millionaires who live on Long Island, New York.
    More Details Hide Details During a party, Oliver Larrabee (played by Walter Hampden) takes his younger son, David (played by William Holden), to task for romancing the family chauffeur's soignée daughter, Sabrina (played by Audrey Hepburn), and neglecting his fiancée. Also present is Oliver's older son, Linus (played by Humphrey Bogart). Oliver to David: "I'll overlook for the moment the fact that you're an engaged man and merely remind you of your marital record to date. First, that Hungarian countess, who only married you to bring her family over: her mother, her father and five brothers—all of them badly in need of costly dental repairs. Then that Twyman girl—her family 50 years on the social register, and she has the audacity to wear on her wedding dress not a corsage but the Stevenson button!" Linus: "Father, you promised not to swear."
    In the 1954 congressional elections Stevenson took a leading role in campaigning for Democratic congressional and gubernatorial candidates around the nation.
    More Details Hide Details When the Democrats won control of both houses of Congress and picked up nine gubernatorial seats it "put Democrats around the country in Stevenson's debt and greatly strengthened his position as his party's leader." With Eisenhower headed for another landslide, few Democrats wanted the 1956 nomination. Although challenged by Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver and New York Governor W. Averell Harriman, Stevenson campaigned more aggressively to secure the nomination than he had in 1952, and Kefauver conceded after losing several key primaries. To Stevenson's dismay, former president Truman endorsed Harriman, but the blow was softened by former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt's continued support.
  • 1953
    Age 53
    Several weeks later, President-elect Stevenson gives a speech indicating that he intends to begin trading with the Soviet Union upon taking office on January 20, 1953.
    More Details Hide Details The writer Gore Vidal, who admired and supported Stevenson, based a main character in his 1960 Broadway play The Best Man on Stevenson. The play centers on the contest for the presidential nomination at a fictitious political convention. One of the main contenders for the nomination is Secretary of State William Russell, a principled, liberal intellectual. The character is based on Stevenson; his main opponent is the ruthless, unscrupulous Senator Joseph Cantwell, whom Vidal modeled on Richard Nixon and the Kennedy brothers. The play was turned into a 1964 film of the same name, with actor Henry Fonda playing Russell. Fonda had been a Stevenson supporter at the 1960 Democratic National Convention. The Avalanche, an album by Sufjan Stevens, contains a song called "Adlai Stevenson".
    He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1953.
    More Details Hide Details
    Following his defeat, Stevenson in 1953 made a well-publicized world tour through Asia, the Middle East and Europe, writing about his travels for Look magazine.
    More Details Hide Details His political stature as head of the Democratic Party gave him access to many foreign leaders and dignitaries.
  • 1952
    Age 52
    In the alternate history short story "The Impeachment of Adlai Stevenson" by David Gerrold included in the anthology Alternate Presidents, Stevenson is elected in 1952 after Dwight D. Eisenhower makes the mistake of accepting Joseph McCarthy as his running mate instead of Richard Nixon.
    More Details Hide Details He successfully runs for re-election in 1956, once again defeating General Eisenhower. However, he proves to be an extremely unpopular president.
    In Robin Gerber's novel Eleanor vs. Ike, Stevenson suffers a fatal heart attack as he approaches the podium to accept the Democratic nomination in 1952.
    More Details Hide Details He is replaced as the Democratic presidential candidate by former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
    The journalist David Halberstam later wrote that "Stevenson was an elegant campaigner who raised the political discourse" and that in 1952 "Stevenson reinvigorated Democratic Party and made it seem an open and exciting place for a generation of younger Americans who might otherwise never have thought of working for a political candidate."
    More Details Hide Details During the campaign, a photograph revealed a hole in the sole of Stevenson's right shoe. This became a symbol of Stevenson's frugality and earthiness. Photographer William M. Gallagher of the Flint Journal won the 1953 Pulitzer prize on the strength of the image. Stevenson did not use television as effectively as his Republican opponent, war hero Dwight D. Eisenhower, and was unable to rally the New Deal voting coalition for one last hurrah. On election day, Eisenhower won the national popular vote by 55% to 45%. Stevenson lost heavily outside the Solid South; he carried only nine states and lost the Electoral College vote 442 to 89. In his concession speech on election night, Stevenson said: "Someone asked me how I felt, and I was reminded of a story that a fellow townsman of ours used to tell – Abraham Lincoln. He said he felt like the little boy who had stubbed his toe in the dark. He said that he was too old to cry, but it hurt too much to laugh."
    During the 1952 campaign Stewart Alsop, a powerful Connecticut Republican, labeled Stevenson an "egghead", based on his baldness and intellectual air.
    More Details Hide Details His brother, the influential newspaper columnist Joe Alsop, used the word to underscore Stevenson's difficulty in attracting working-class voters, and the nickname stuck. Stevenson himself made fun of his "egghead" nickname; in one speech he joked "eggheads of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your yolks!" In his campaign speeches Stevenson strongly criticized the Communist-hunting tactics of Senator Joseph McCarthy, labeling "McCarthy's kind of patriotism as a disgrace" and ridiculing right-wing Republicans "who hunt Communists in the Bureau of Wildlife and Fisheries while hesitating to aid the gallant men and women who are resisting the real thing in the front lines of Europe and Asia they are finally the men who seemingly believe that we can confound the Kremlin by frightening ourselves to death." In return, Senator McCarthy stated in a speech that "he would like to get on the Stevenson campaign trail with a club and make a good and loyal American out of the governor."
    In his welcoming speech he poked fun at the 1952 Republican National Convention, which had been held in Chicago in the same coliseum two weeks earlier.
    More Details Hide Details Stevenson described the achievements of the Democratic Party under Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, but noted "our Republican friends have said it was all a miserable failure. For almost a week pompous phrases marched over this landscape in search of an idea, and the only idea that they found was that the two great decades of progress were the misbegotten spawn of bungling, of corruption, of socialism, of mismanagement, of waste and worse after listening to this everlasting procession of epithets about our party's misdeeds I was even surprised the next morning when the mail was delivered on time. But we Democrats were by no means the only victims here. First they Republicans slaughtered each other, and then they went after us perhaps the proximity of the stockyards accounts for the carnage." Following this speech, the Illinois delegation (led by Jacob Arvey) announced that they would place Stevenson's name in nomination, and Stevenson called President Truman to ask if "he would be embarrassed" if Stevenson formally announced his candidacy for the nomination. Truman told Stevenson "I have been trying since January to get you to say that. Why should it embarrass me?" Kefauver led on the first ballot, but was well below the vote total he needed to win. Stevenson gradually gained strength until he was nominated on the third ballot. His running mate was Senator John Sparkman of Alabama.
    In the end Stevenson, despite his reluctance to run, remained the most attractive candidate heading into the 1952 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
    More Details Hide Details At the Convention, Stevenson, as governor of the host state, was assigned to give the welcoming address to the delegates. His speech was so stirring and witty that it helped stampede his nomination, in spite of his continued protests that he was not a presidential candidate.
    Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee won most of the presidential primaries and entered the 1952 Democratic National Convention with the largest number of delegates, but he was unpopular with President Truman and other prominent Democrats.
    More Details Hide Details In 1950 Kefauver had chaired a Senate committee that traveled to several large cities and held televised hearings into organized crime. The hearings revealed connections between organized-crime syndicates and big-city Democratic political organizations, which led Truman and other Democratic leaders to oppose Kefauver's bid for the nomination: "a machine politician and proud of it, Truman had no use for reformers who blackened the names of fellow Democrats." Truman favored U.S. diplomat W. Averell Harriman, but he had never held elective office and was inexperienced in national politics. Truman next turned to his Vice-President, Alben Barkley, but at 74 years of age he was dismissed as being too old by labor union leaders. Senator Richard Russell Jr. of Georgia was popular in the South, but his support of racial segregation and opposition to civil rights for blacks made him unacceptable to Northern and Western Democrats.
    Early in 1952, while Stevenson was still governor of Illinois, President Harry S. Truman decided that he would not seek another term as president.
    More Details Hide Details Instead, Truman met with Stevenson in Washington and proposed that Stevenson seek the Democratic nomination for president; Truman promised him his support if he did so. Stevenson at first hesitated, arguing that he was committed to running for a second gubernatorial term in Illinois. However, a number of his friends and associates (such as George Wildman Ball) quietly began organizing a "draft Stevenson" movement for President; they persisted in their activity even when Stevenson (both publicly and privately) told them to stop. When Stevenson continued to state that he was not a candidate, President Truman and the Democratic Party leadership looked for other prospective candidates. However, each of the other main contenders had a major weakness.
    Stevenson's deposition, according to his biographer Porter McKeever, would later be used in the 1952 presidential campaign by Senators Joseph McCarthy and Richard Nixon to "inflame public opinion and attack Adlai as 'soft on communism'."
    More Details Hide Details
    Stevenson was defeated in a landslide by Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1952 presidential election.
    More Details Hide Details
    He served as the 31st Governor of Illinois, and received the Democratic Party's nomination for president in 1952 even though he had not campaigned in the primaries.
    More Details Hide Details John Frederick Martin says party leaders selected him because he was "more moderate on civil rights than Estes Kefauver, yet nonetheless acceptable to labor and urban machines—so a coalition of southern, urban, and labor leaders fell in behind his candidacy in Chicago."
  • FORTIES
  • 1949
    Age 49
    On June 2, 1949, Stevenson privately gave a sworn deposition as a character witness for Alger Hiss, a former State Department official who was later found to be a spy for the Soviet Union.
    More Details Hide Details Stevenson had infrequently worked with Hiss, first in the legal division of the AAA in 1933, and then in 1945, 1946, and 1947 on various United Nations projects, but he was not a close friend or associate of him. In the deposition, Stevenson testified that the reputation of Hiss for integrity, loyalty, and veracity was "good." In 1950 Hiss was found guilty of perjury on the spying charges.
    In 1949, Adlai and Ellen were divorced; their son Adlai III later recalled that "There hadn't been a good relationship for a long time.
    More Details Hide Details I remember her Ellen as the unreasonable one, not only with Dad, but with us and the servants. I was embarrassed by her peremptory way with servants." Stevenson did not remarry, but instead dated a number of prominent women throughout the rest of his life, including Alicia Patterson, Marietta Tree, and Betty Beale. Stevenson belonged to the Unitarian faith, and was a longtime member of Bloomington's Unitarian church. However, he also occasionally attended Presbyterian services in Libertyville, where a Unitarian church was not present, and as governor he became close friends with the Rev. Richard Graebel, the pastor of Springfield's Presbyterian church. Graebel "acknowledged that Stevenson's Unitarian rearing had imbued him with the means of translating religious and ethical values into civic issues." According to one historian "religion never disappeared entirely from his public messages – it was indeed part of his appeal."
  • 1948
    Age 48
    In 1948, Stevenson was chosen by Jacob Arvey, the leader of the powerful Chicago Democratic political organization, to be the Democratic candidate in the Illinois gubernatorial race against the incumbent Republican, Dwight H. Green.
    More Details Hide Details In a surprise upset, Stevenson defeated Green by 572,067 votes, a record margin in Illinois gubernatorial elections. President Truman carried Illinois by only 33,612 votes against his Republican opponent, Thomas E. Dewey, leading some commentators to write that "Clearly, Adlai had carried the President in with him." Paul Douglas, a University of Chicago professor of economics, was elected Senator on the same ticket. Principal among Stevenson's achievements as Illinois governor were reforming the state police by removing political considerations from hiring practices and instituting a merit system for employment and promotion, cracking down on illegal gambling, and improving the state highways. He sought, with mixed success, to cleanse the Illinois state government of corruption; in one instance he fired the warden of the state penitentiary for overcrowding, political corruption, and incompetence that had left the prisoners on the verge of revolt, and in another instance Stevenson fired the superintendent of an institution for alcoholics when he learned that the superintendent, after receiving bribes from local tavern owners, was allowing the patients to buy drinks at local bars. Two of Stevenson's major initiatives as governor were a proposal to create a constitutional convention (called "con-con") to reform and improve the Illinois state constitution, and several crime bills that would have provided new resources and methods to fight criminal activities in Illinois. Most of the crime bills and con-con failed to pass the state legislature, much to Stevenson's chagrin.
  • 1946
    Age 46
    His work at the Commission, and in particular his dealings with the representatives of the Soviet Union, resulted in appointments to the US delegations to the United Nations in 1946 and 1947.
    More Details Hide Details
    Later that year, he went to London as Deputy United States Delegate to the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations Organization, a position he held until February 1946.
    More Details Hide Details When the head of the delegation fell ill, Stevenson assumed his role.
  • 1945
    Age 45
    In 1945, Stevenson took a temporary position in the State Department, as special assistant to US Secretary of State Edward Stettinius to work with Assistant Secretary of State Archibald MacLeish on a proposed world organization.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1944
    Age 44
    Taft is re-elected in 1944 and 1948 but Stevenson defeats him in 1952, becoming the 34th President.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly after Stevenson's election in November 1952, The Times, which is owned by the pro-Nazi British Prime Minister Lord Beaverbrook, speculates that Stevenson will follow in Roosevelt's footsteps and pursue an interventionist foreign policy regarding European affairs.
    After Knox died in April 1944, Stevenson returned to Chicago where he attempted to purchase Knox's controlling interest in the Chicago Daily News, but his syndicate was outbid by another party.
    More Details Hide Details
    However, in early 1944 he joined a mission to Sicily and Italy for the Foreign Economic Administration to report on the country's economy.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1940
    Age 40
    In 1940, Colonel Frank Knox, newly appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as Secretary of the Navy, offered Stevenson a position as Principal Attorney and special assistant.
    More Details Hide Details In this capacity, Stevenson wrote speeches, represented Secretary Knox and the Navy on committees, toured the various theaters of war, and handled many administrative duties. Since Knox was largely a figurehead, there were few major roles for Stevenson.
    He became involved in civic activities, particularly as chairman of the Chicago branch of the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies from 1940 to 1941.
    More Details Hide Details As chairman, Stevenson worked to raise public support for military and economic aid to the United Kingdom and its allies in fighting Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Stevenson "believed Britain was America's first line of defense" and "argued for a repeal of the neutrality legislation" and support for President Roosevelt's lend-lease program. His efforts earned strong criticism from Colonel Robert R. McCormick, the powerful, isolationist publisher of the Chicago Tribune, and a leading member of the non-interventionist America First Committee.
  • 1935
    Age 35
    In 1935, Stevenson returned to Chicago to practice law.
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  • 1933
    Age 33
    Following the repeal of Prohibition in December 1933, Stevenson changed jobs, becoming chief attorney for the Federal Alcohol Control Administration (FACA), a subsidiary of the AAA which regulated the activities of the alcohol industry.
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    In July 1933, Stevenson took a job opportunity as special attorney and assistant to Jerome Frank, the general counsel of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), a part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1928
    Age 28
    In 1928, Stevenson married Ellen Borden, a well-to-do socialite.
    More Details Hide Details The young couple soon became popular and familiar figures on the Chicago social scene. They had three sons: Adlai Stevenson III, who would become a U.S. Senator; Borden Stevenson, and John Fell Stevenson. In 1935, Adlai and Ellen purchased a tract of land along the Des Plaines River near Libertyville, Illinois, a wealthy suburb of Chicago. They built a home on the property and it served as Stevenson's official residence for the rest of his life. Although he spent relatively little time there due to his career, Stevenson did consider the farm to be his home, and in the 1950s, he was often called "The Man from Libertyville" by the national news media. Stevenson also purchased a farm in northwestern Illinois, just outside Galena, where he frequently rode horses and kept some cattle.
    His father, Lewis Stevenson, never held an elected office, but was appointed Secretary of State of Illinois (1914–1917) and was considered a strong contender for the Democratic vice-presidential nomination in 1928.
    More Details Hide Details A maternal great-grandfather, Jesse W. Fell, had been a close friend and campaign manager for Abraham Lincoln in his 1858 US Senate race; Stevenson often referred to Fell as his favorite ancestor. Stevenson's eldest son, Adlai E. Stevenson III, became a U.S. Senator from Illinois (1970–1981). His mother was Helen Davis Stevenson, and he had an older sister, Elizabeth Stevenson Ives, an author who was called "Buffie". Actor McLean Stevenson was a second cousin once removed. He was the nephew by marriage of novelist Mary Borden, and she assisted in the writing of some of his political speeches.
  • 1926
    Age 26
    Stevenson received his Bachelor of Laws degree from Northwestern in 1926 and passed the Illinois State Bar examination that year.
    More Details Hide Details He obtained a position at Cutting, Moore & Sidley, an old and conservative Chicago law firm.
  • 1922
    Age 22
    He attended Princeton University, becoming managing editor of The Daily Princetonian, a member of the American Whig-Cliosophic Society, a member of the Quadrangle Club, and received a B.A. degree in 1922 in literature and history.
    More Details Hide Details Under prodding from his father he then went to Harvard Law School, but found the law to be "uninteresting", and withdrew after failing several classes. He returned to Bloomington where he wrote for the family newspaper, The Daily Pantagraph, which was founded by his maternal great-grandfather Jesse Fell. The Pantagraph, which had one of the largest circulations of any newspaper in Illinois outside of the Chicago area, was a main source of the Stevenson family's wealth. A year after leaving Harvard, Stevenson became interested in the law again after talking to Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. When he returned home to Bloomington, he decided to finish his law degree at Northwestern University School of Law, attending classes during the week and returning to Bloomington on the weekends to write for the Pantagraph.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1918
    Age 18
    Upon his graduation from Choate in 1918, he enlisted in the Navy and served at the rank of Seaman Apprentice, but his training was completed too late for him to participate in World War I.
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  • 1912
    Age 12
    Stevenson was raised in the city of Bloomington, Illinois; his family was a member of Bloomington's upper class and lived in one of the city's well-to-do neighborhoods. On December 30, 1912, at the age of twelve, Stevenson accidentally killed Ruth Merwin, a 16-year-old friend, while demonstrating drill technique with a rifle, inadvertently left loaded, during a party at the Stevenson home.
    More Details Hide Details Stevenson was devastated by the accident and rarely referred to it as an adult. However, in 1955 Stevenson heard about a woman whose son had experienced a similar tragedy. He wrote to her that she should tell her son that "he must live for two", which Stevenson's friends took to be a reference to the shooting incident. Stevenson left Bloomington High School after his junior year and attended University High School in Normal, Illinois, Bloomington's "twin city", just to the north. He then went to boarding school in Connecticut at The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall), where he played on the tennis team, acted in plays, and was elected editor-in-chief of The News, the school newspaper.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1900
    Age 0
    Born on February 5, 1900.
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