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American Adlai STEVENSON II

born Adlai Ewing STEVENSON II

American politician

Source :  Tim DOWLING

Born: on February 05, 1900 in Los Angeles, California, USA
Died: on July 14, 1965 in London, England


Although Stevenson was born in Los Angeles, he was a member of a famous Illinois political family. His grandfather Adlai E. Stevenson I was Vice President of the United States under President Grover Cleveland from 1893–1897. His father, Lewis G. Stevenson, never held an elected office, but was appointed Secretary of State of Illinois (1914–1917) and was considered a strong contender for the Democratic vice-presidential nomination in 1928. A maternal great-grandfather, Jesse W. Fell, had been a close friend and campaign manager for Abraham Lincoln; Stevenson often referred to Fell as his "favorite" ancestor. His mother was Helen Davis Stevenson. Stevenson's eldest son, Adlai E. Stevenson III, became a U.S. Senator from Illinois (1970–1981). Actor McLean Stevenson was a second cousin once removed.

Stevenson was raised in the city of Bloomington, Illinois; his family was a member of Bloomington's upper class and lived in one of the city's well-to-do neighborhoods. At the age of twelve Stevenson accidentally killed Ruth Merwin, a 16-year-old friend, while demonstrating drill technique with a rifle, inadvertently left loaded, during a party at the Stevenson home. Stevenson was devastated by the accident and rarely referred to it as an adult. However, as the Governor of Illinois he was told about a teenager who had survived an automobile accident while his friend was killed. Stevenson told the teen's father that he should tell his son that "he now has to live for two", which Stevenson's friends took to be a reference to the shooting incident.

Stevenson left Bloomington High School after his junior year and attended University High School in Normal, Illinois, Bloomington's "twin city", just to the north. He then went to boarding school in Connecticut at The Choate School (now Choate Rosemary Hall), where he participated in sports, acted in plays, and was elected editor-in-chief of The News, the school newspaper. Upon his graduation from Choate in 1918, he enlisted in the Navy and served at the rank of Seaman Apprentice, but his training was completed too late for him to participate in World War I.

He attended Princeton University, becoming managing editor of The Daily Princetonian and a member of the Quadrangle Club, and receiving a B.A. degree in 1922 in literature or history. He was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity there. He then went to Harvard Law School under prodding from his father but failed several classes and withdrew. He returned to Bloomington where he wrote for the family newspaper, The Daily Pantagraph, which was founded by his maternal great grandfather Jesse W. Fell, who had also served as Abraham Lincoln's campaign manager in his 1858 race for the US Senate.

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See Also :

- Category American politician