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Biography

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Overview (4)

Born in Los Angeles, California, USA
Died in London, England, UK  (heart attack)
Birth NameAdlai Ewing Stevenson II
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Grandson and namesake of Grover Cleveland's second Vice President, Adlai Ewing Stevenson was born in Los Angeles and raised in Bloomington, Illinois. Following a childhood marred by his accidental fatal shooting of an acquaintance in 1912, he attended the Choate School, served briefly as an apprentice seaman in the U.S. Navy and graduated from Princeton University in 1922. After failing law courses at Harvard he graduated from Northwestern University Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1926. During the 1930s Stevenson became active in Illinois Democratic Party affairs and the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations, and worked as a government lawyer during the early years of the New Deal. In 1940-41 he chaired the Chicago branch of the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies. As principal attorney to the Secretary of the Navy he went on World War II survey missions to the Caribbean, South Pacific and Italy; in 1945 he served as adviser to the U.S. delegation to the opening session of the UN. He returned to Illinois in 1947 with ambitions of running for the U.S. Senate the following year, but was instead chosen by leaders of the powerful Cook County Democratic machine as their candidate for governor. After a landslide victory over incumbent Gov. Dwight H. Green, Stevenson compiled a moderately progressive record in office while undergoing the private agony of the breakup of his 20-year marriage. As a fresh face with few enemies in the national Democratic Party, he was nominated for President in 1952 and campaigned with an eloquence, wit, urbanity and grace that captivated many, including Hollywood luminaries as Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Mercedes McCambridge and Dore Schary. Although defeated by Dwight D. Eisenhower in both 1952 and 1956, Stevenson remained in the public eye through speeches, books and articles as titular leader of the Democratic Party and keeper of the liberal flame during the Eisenhower years. His refusal to rule himself out of the running for a third nomination in 1960 permanently damaged his relationship with John F. Kennedy. Following JFK's election, Stevenson hoped to be appointed Secretary of State, but instead had to swallow his disappointment and accept the post of Ambassador to the UN, where he is perhaps best remembered for arraigning the Soviet UN envoy, Valerian Zorin, in the "court of world opinion" during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Exhausted by the stress of his job and feeling increasingly cut off from the center of foreign policy decision-making, Stevenson suffered a fatal heart attack on a street near the U.S. Embassy in London.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Joel D. Treese

Spouse (1)

Ellen Borden (1 December 1928 - 1949) (divorced) (4 children)

Trivia (9)

(1952, 1956) Democratic nominee for U.S. President.
Governor of Illinois (1949-1953).
Attended Northwestern University School of Law.
His eldest son, Adlai E. Stevenson III, served as U.S. Senator from Illinois (1970-1981)
Pictured on a 5¢ US commemorative postage stamp issued in his honor, 23 October 1965.
Cousin of late actor McLean Stevenson.
4 children, Adlai, Katherine, Lucy, and Warwick.
Grandson of U.S. Vice President Adlai E. Stevenson, who served from 1893-1897.
Democratic Party nominee in the 1952 and 1956 US presidential elections. He lost both times to Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Personal Quotes (8)

The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning.
Democracy is a device that insures that we shall be governed no better than we deserve. Whose fault is it? ... It is the fault of you the people. Your public servants serve you right; indeed, often they serve you better than your apathy and indifference deserve.
I have often thought that if I had any epitaph that I would rather have more than another, it would be to say that I had disturbed the sleep of my generation.
[in a UN Security Council meeting, when confronting the Russian ambassador about whether or not the Russians had placed nuclear missiles in Cuba] Sir, I am prepared to wait for your answer until hell freezes over, if that's your decision.
[on Richard Nixon] He's the kind of politician who could cut down a tree and then mount the stump and make a speech for conservation.
That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in another.
I offer my opponents a bargain. If they stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them.
I like Ike too.

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