Adlai E. Stevenson

Stevenson, Adlai Ewing (1900–1965, American statesman)

Adlai Ewing Stevenson, 1900–1965, American statesman, b. Los Angeles; grandson of Adlai Ewing Stevenson (1835–1914). A graduate (1922) of Princeton, he received his law degree from Northwestern Univ., was admitted (1926) to the bar, and practiced law in Chicago. He entered government service as special counsel to the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (1933–34) and later served as assistant general counsel to the Federal Alcohol Bureau (1934) and as an assistant to the U.S. Secretary of the Navy (1941–44). In 1945 he became special assistant to Secretary of State Stettinius and attended the San Francisco Conference that founded the United Nations. He was a member of the U.S. mission to the UN General Assembly in 1946 and 1947. In 1949, Stevenson was elected Democratic governor of Illinois by an unprecedented majority; his record of reforms in office brought him national prominence, and he was drafted (1952) to be the Democratic presidential candidate. Despite an eloquent campaign, he was decisively defeated by Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1956, Stevenson campaigned actively and successfully for renomination but was defeated by Eisenhower by an even greater margin. In 1960 he was a more reluctant contender for the Democratic nomination, which he lost to John F. Kennedy. In 1961, President Kennedy appointed him U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, with cabinet rank. He held this position until his death. Despite his electoral defeats, Stevenson won enormous respect and admiration as an eloquent spokesman for liberal reform and for internationalism. Stevenson's works include A Call to Greatness (1954), Friends and Enemies (1959), and Putting First Things First (1960). His papers were edited by Walker Johnson (8 vol., 1972–79). His oldest son, Adlai Ewing Stevenson 3d, 1930–, b. Chicago, served as U.S. senator from Illinois (1970–81). He ran unsuccessfully for governor of Illinois in 1982 and 1986.

See biographies of the elder Stevenson by K. S. Davis (1957, repr. 1967), S. G. Brown (1961), H. J. Muller (1967), and B. Cochran (1969); J. H. Baker, The Stevensons (1996).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Adlai E. Stevenson: Selected full-text books and articles

Friends and Enemies: What I Learned in Russia By Adlai E. Stevenson Harper, 1959
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
Slanted News: A Case Study of the Nixon and Stevenson Fund Stories By Arthur Edward Rowse; Erwin D. Canham Beacon Press, 1957
How We Drafted Adlai Stevenson By Walter Johnson Knopf, 1955
PRIMARY SOURCE
A primary source is a work that is being studied, or that provides first-hand or direct evidence on a topic. Common types of primary sources include works of literature, historical documents, original philosophical writings, and religious texts.
All the Way with Adlai: John Bartlow Martin and the 1952 Adlai Stevenson Campaign By Boomhower, Ray E Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, Vol. 111, No. 3, Fall 2018
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An Uncertain Tradition: U.S. Senators from Illinois, 1818-2003 By David Kenney; Robert E. Hartley Southern Illinois University Press, 2003
Eisenhower and the Mass Media: Peace, Prosperity, & Prime-Time TV By Craig Allen University of North Carolina Press, 1993
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