Adlai Stevenson II Biography

Adlai Stevenson was was an politician, American lawyer and diplomat. He was nominated twice by the Democratic Party for the office of the President of the USA. Read this Biography to learn more about his profile, childhood, life and timeline.

Adlai Stevenson II

Quick Facts

Gender: Male
Birthday: 05 February 1900
Died: 14 July 1965
Nationality: American
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Father: Lewis Stevenson
Children: Adlai Stevenson III
Education: Princeton University, Harvard Law School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Northwestern University School of Law
Awards: Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Adlai Ewing Stevenson II was one of America’s influential politicians and was admired highly for his intellect and impeccable oratory. He was also one of the few politicians who promoted liberal causes in the Democratic Party. He was elected as the 31st Governor of Illinois, and was also nominated by the Democratic for the position of the President of the USA twice, once in 1952 and then again in 1956. However, on both the occasions, he was defeated by his opponent, the Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Early Life & Career

Adlai Stevenson was born in Los Angeles, California, in a locality which is now known as North University Park Historic District. His grandfather Adlai E. Stevenson I had been the 23rd Vice President of the United States. Stevenson spent most of his childhood in Bloomington, Illinois where he received his early education first at Bloomington High School and then the University High School in Normal, Illinois.
Stevenson then attended the boarding school in Connecticut, The Choate School and upon his graduation in 1918 joined the Navy as a Seaman Apprentice. He then went on to join the Princeton University and was appointed as the editor of The Daily Princetonian. Later, he pursued his law degree from the Northwestern University School of Law. Colonel Frank Knox, who then served as the Secretary of the Navy, appointed Stevenson to the position of the Principal Attorney and special assistant. In 1945, Stevenson was appointed as the special assistant to the Secretary of State in the State Department. He then ran the election for the office of the Governor of the USA, Illinois as a Democrat, and defeated the Republican Dwight H. Green convincingly. Stevenson was also appointed as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations and contributed a great deal in obtaining support for the U.S. foreign policy. After the assassination of J.F. Kennedy, Stevenson continued to serve as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. Twice he was nominated for the office of the President of the USA once in 1952 and then in 1956, but both the time he faced defeat. The most interesting moment of his career was during the Cuban missile crisis. On October 25, 1962 at the emergency session of the Security Council he gave a historical presentation. Stevenson after asking the Soviet representative Valerian Zorin if his country was installing missiles in Cuba, he quipped, "Don't wait for the translation, answer 'yes' or 'no'!" After Zorin refused to answer his question Stevenson said, "I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over." There at the conference Stevenson presented several photographs and provided unequivocal evidence of the existence of missiles in Cuba.
Adlai Stevenson got married to Ellen Borden in 1928, who was a socialite from a wealthy family. They had three sons: Borden Stevenson, and John Fell Stevenson and Adlai Stevenson III, who later became a U.S. Senator. The couple got divorced 21 years later in 1949. Stevenson suffered a heart attack on July 14, 1965, and died later that day of heart failure.

Legacy

Entities named after Adlai Stevenson II
Adlai E. Stevenson Elementary School in Fairfield, New Jersey
Adlai E. Stevenson II Elementary School in Bloomington, Illinois
Stevenson Expressway – Interstate 55 is known as the Adlai E. Stevenson Expressway between Lake Shore Drive and I-355
Stevenson Drive, a major thoroughfare in Springfield, Illinois
Stevenson Hall, Eastern Illinois University Residence Hall in Charleston, Il.
Adlai Stevenson’s statue was erected at the Central Illinois Regional Airport near Bloomington.

In Popular culture

An album by one of the most prominent folk artist Sufjan Stevens, titled The Avalanche, features a song called "Adlai Stevenson”. Adlai Stevenson was also referred in the popular legal drama, Boston Legal.

Achievements

Governor of Illinois, 1949–1953
Democratic presidential nominee, 1952, 1956
United States Ambassador to the United Nations,1961–1965

Timeline

1900: Adlai Stevenson II was born on February 5 in Los Angeles, California.
1918: Joined the Navy as a Seaman Apprentice.
1945: Stevenson was appointed as the special assistant to the Secretary of State in the State Department.
1949: Was elected as the Governor of Illinois.
1961: was appointed as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations.
1962: On October 25, at the emergency session of the Security Council he gave a historical presentation.
1928: Adlai Stevenson got married to Ellen Borden, who was a socialite from a wealthy family.
1949: The couple got divorced.
1965: Stevenson suffered a heart attack on July 14 and died later that day of heart failure.

Citation Information

Article Title

Adlai Stevenson II Biography

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URL

https://www.findbiographies.com/adlai-stevenson-ii-114.php

Last Updated

May 24, 2019

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