Adlai E. Stevenson (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Although unsuccessful in his repeated bids for the presidency, Stevenson inspired a new generation of liberals who would write the agenda for the New Frontier and Great Society during the 1960’s; he brought to the American political scene an all too uncommon blend of integrity, high intelligence, and humane values.
Adlai Ewing Stevenson II was born on February 5, 1900, in Los Angeles, California, where his father, Lewis Stevenson, managed the Hearst mining and newspaper interests. Stevenson’s family, however, was based in Bloomington, Illinois, and the marriage of his parents had united the town’s leading Republican and Democratic families. The Stevensons and their relatives had long been active in Illinois political affairs. His great-grandfather, Jesse Fell, was a founder of the Republican Party and a political confidant of Abraham Lincoln. His grandfather, after whom he was named, was an Illinois Democrat who had served as Grover Cleveland’s vice president during the 1890’s.
This family history influenced Stevenson’s formative years. In 1906, his family returned to Bloomington, where his father owned and managed several farms, became a noted agricultural reformer, and was active in state and national politics. Consequently, Adlai became acquainted with such political giants as William Jennings Bryan and, most notably, Woodrow Wilson, whose moral vision and...
(The entire section is 2790 words.)
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