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Adlai Stevenson III

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Title: Adlai Stevenson III  
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Subject: WikiProject U.S. Congress/Cleanup listing, List of United States Senators from Illinois, Democratic Party presidential primaries, 1976, Stevenson family, United States Senate election in Illinois, 1980
Collection: 1930 Births, American Unitarian Universalists, Candidates in United States Elections, 1982, Candidates in United States Elections, 1986, Democratic Party United States Senators, Harvard Law School Alumni, Harvard University Alumni, Illinois Democrats, Latin School of Chicago Alumni, Living People, Members of the Illinois House of Representatives, State Treasurers of Illinois, Stevenson Family, United States Marine Corps Officers, United States Presidential Candidates, 1976, United States Senators from Illinois
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Adlai Stevenson III

Adlai Stevenson III
United States Senator
from Illinois
In office
November 17, 1970 – January 2, 1981
Preceded by Ralph Tyler Smith
Succeeded by Alan J. Dixon
63rd Treasurer of Illinois
In office
January 9, 1967 – November 1970
Governor Otto Kerner, Jr.
Samuel H. Shapiro
Richard B. Ogilvie
Preceded by William J. Scott
Succeeded by Charles W. Woodford
Personal details
Born Adlai Ewing Stevenson III
(1930-10-10) October 10, 1930
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Political party Democratic
Alma mater Harvard University
Religion Unitarian
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch United States Marine Corps
Years of service 1952–1954 (active)
1954–1961 (reserve)
Rank Captain
Battles/wars Korean War

Adlai Ewing Stevenson III (born October 10, 1930) is an American politician of the Democratic Party. He represented the state of Illinois in the United States Senate from 1970 until 1981.


  • Education, military service, and early career 1
  • Illinois political career 2
  • United States Senate 3
  • Post-Senate political career 4
  • Post-political career 5
  • Political family history 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9

Education, military service, and early career

Adlai Stevenson III was born in Chicago. He attended the Milton Academy in Massachusetts, Harrow School in England, and Harvard College.

He received a law degree in 1957 from Harvard Law School.

Stevenson was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1952, served in Korea and was discharged from active duty in 1954. He continued to serve in the Marine Reserves and was discharged in 1961 as a captain.

In 1957, Stevenson went to work as a clerk for a Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and worked there until 1958 when he joined the law firm of Brown and Platt.

Illinois political career

In 1964, Stevenson was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives as an at-large representative due to reapportionment problems, serving from 1965 to 1967.[1][2] He then served as Illinois Treasurer (1967–1970).[3]

United States Senate

After U.S. Senator

Stevenson was re-elected to the seat in 1974, and in 1980 declined to stand for re-election, thus serving in the U.S. Senate from 1970 to 1981.

Stevenson was encouraged to run for president in 1976 by Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago, declined and was one of the finalists for vice president at the Democratic Convention that year. Senator Walter Mondale of Minnesota was nominated for vice president.[5]

Post-Senate political career

Stevenson ran for Governor of Illinois in 1982 and 1986, losing both elections to James R. Thompson. In 1982, the initial vote count showed Stevenson winning; however, the final official count showed him losing by 0.14 percent. Stevenson promptly petitioned the Illinois Supreme Court for a recount and presented evidence of widespread election irregularities, including evidence of a failed punch card system for tabulation of votes. Three days before the gubernatorial inauguration, the court denied the recount by a one vote margin, asserting that the Illinois recount statute was unconstitutional.

In the 1986 statewide Democratic primaries, Democratic voters nominated allies of Solidarity Party to provide an alternate slate for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State, which was endorsed by the regular Democratic organization. Persuading Democrats to vote for most of the Democratic ticket as well as the Solidarity candidates for Governor, Lt. Governor and Secretary of State was an unconventional strategy; however, Stevenson and the candidate for Lieutenant Governor position, Mike Howlett, won 40% of the vote.

Post-political career

Since leaving the senate, Stevenson has been active in business and cultural relations with east Asia. He is chairman of SC&M Investment Management Corporation, and co-chairman of HuaMei Capital Company (the first Chinese-American investment bank).

He has also held many positions with non-profit organizations in this area. He has served as chairman of the Japan-America Society of Chicago, the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association, and the Midwest U.S.-China Association, and as president of the U.S. Committee of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC). He is also co-chairman of the PECC's Financial Market Development Project, a member of the U.S.-Korea Wisemen Council, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Korea Economic Institute.

Stevenson has been honored by the government of Japan with the Order of the Sacred Treasure, and is an Honorary Professor of Renmin University in China.

He is chairman of the international Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy housed at the family home near Libertyville, Illinois. The center brings practitioners from the real world of politics together with scholars and experts from many parts of the world to address systemic challenges to democratic systems of government. Stevenson is author of The Black Book—which records American history and his politics as his family knew it over five generations, starting with his great great grandfather, Jesse Fell, who was Abraham Lincoln's patron. Stevenson contrasts what he sees as the values that created America with those that now undermine it.

Political family history

Stevenson's great-grandfather Adlai E. Stevenson I was Vice President of the United States (1893–1897). His grandfather Lewis G. Stevenson was Illinois secretary of state (1914–1917). His father, Adlai Stevenson II, was governor of Illinois, Ambassador to the United Nations, and two-time Democratic presidential nominee. Actor McLean Stevenson was his third cousin.

Adlai Stevenson IV, Stevenson III's son, became a television reporter in Chicago in the 1980s. It is reported that when asked if he liked his name, he said he intended to become "Adlai the Last".[6] However, in the summer of 1994, Adlai Ewing Stevenson V was born.


  1. ^ 'Illinois Blue Book 1965-1966, Biographical Sketch of Representative Adlai Stevenson III, pg.294-295
  2. ^ "Sen. Adlai Stevenson III - Staking out his role in Illinois and Washington". Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  3. ^ Lawrence Kestenbaum. "The Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Stevenson to Steward". Retrieved 28 October 2014. 
  4. ^  
  5. ^ "Sen. Adlai Stevenson III: Staking out his role in Illinois and Washington ", Illinois Issues.
  6. ^ "Boca Raton News - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved 28 October 2014. 

Further reading

  • Baker, Jean H. (1996). The Stevensons: A Biography of An American Family. New York: W. W. Norton & Co.  

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
William J. Scott
Illinois State Treasurer
Succeeded by
Alan J. Dixon
United States Senate
Preceded by
Ralph Tyler Smith
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Illinois
Served alongside: Charles H. Percy
Succeeded by
Alan J. Dixon
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