Adlai Stevenson

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Adlai Ewing Stevenson II (pronounced /ˈædleɪ/; February 5, 1900 – July 14, 1965) 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. Kennedy of Massachusetts. After his election, President Kennedy appointed Stevenson as the Ambassador to the United Nations; he served from 1961 to 1965. He died on July 14, 1965 in London, England after suffering a fatal heart attack at age 65.


Childhood, education, and early career

Although Stevenson was born in Los Angeles, he was a member of a famous Illinois political family. His grandfather Adlai E. Stevenson I was Vice President of the United States under President Grover Cleveland from 1893-1897. His father, Lewis G. 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. A maternal great-grandfather, Jesse W. Fell, had been a close friend and campaign manager for Abraham Lincoln; Stevenson often referred to Fell as his "favorite" ancestor. His mother was Helen Davis Stevenson. Stevenson's eldest son, Adlai E. Stevenson III, became a U.S. Senator from Illinois (1970–1981). Actor McLean Stevenson was a second cousin once removed.[2]

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