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Adlai Ewing Stevenson

Gov. Adlai Ewing Stevenson

  • January 10, 1949 - January 12, 1953
  • Democrat
  • February 5, 1900
  • July 14, 1965
  • Illinois
  • Princeton University, Northwestern University
  • Married Ellen Borden; three children
  • Navy


ADLAI E. STEVENSON, Illinois’ thirty-third governor, was born in Los Angeles, California, on February 5, 1900. He graduated from Princeton University in 1922, earned a law degree from Northwestern University in 1926, and established a legal career in Chicago, Illinois. Stevenson entered public service in 1933, serving as special counsel to the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, a position he held one year. He served as assistant general counsel for the Federal Alcohol Control Administration in 1934, was special assistant to the Secretary of the Navy from 1941 to 1944, and joined the Italian Section of the Foreign Economic Mission in 1944. He also was the press spokesman for the American delegation to the 1945 United Nation Conference on International Organization and was the senior advisor to the American delegation to the first United Nations General Assembly in 1946. Stevenson won the 1948 Democratic gubernatorial nomination and was sworn into the governor’s office on January 10, 1949. During his tenure, the state gasoline tax was augmented and used to advance the public highway system, mining laws were amended, and the merit system was implemented in the state police department. Stevenson did not seek reelection to the governorship; however, he did run for president in 1952 and 1956, but was unsuccessful in both bids. He secured an appointment as U.S. representative to the United Nations, serving from 1961 until his death in 1965. Governor Adlai E. Stevenson passed away on July 14, 1965, and was buried at the Evergreen Cemetery in Bloomington, Illinois.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

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