Adlai Stevenson

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Person.png Adlai Stevenson   SpartacusRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(diplomat, politician)
Adlai Stevenson.jpg
BornAdlai Ewing Stevenson II
Los Angeles, United States
Died1965-07-14 (Age 65)
London, England, United Kingdom
Alma materPrinceton University, Northwestern University
ReligionUnitarian Universalist
ChildrenAdlai Stevenson III
SpouseEllen Borden
Member ofCouncil on Foreign Relations/Historical Members, Phi Delta Theta

Employment.png US/Permanent Representative to the UN Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
23 January 1961 - 14 July 1965

Employment.png Governor of Illinois

In office
January 10, 1949 - January 12, 1953

Adlai Edwing Stevenson II was an American politician and diplomat, noted for his intellectual demeanor, eloquent public speaking, and promotion of progressive causes in the Democratic Party. From 1949 to 1953 he was made 31st Governor of Illinois.

Presidential nominee

Adlai Stevenson received the Democratic Party's nomination for president in 1952 US Presidential election, even though he had not campaigned in the primaries. He was defeated in a landslide by Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1956 he was again the Democratic presidential nominee against Eisenhower, but was defeated in an even greater landslide. After the 1956 campaign, Stevenson formed a legal firm with W. Willard Wirtz "that strictly abstained from politics" and whose clients included the De Beers diamond merchant Maurice Tempelsman.[1]

Third time unlucky

Stevenson sought the Democratic presidential nomination for a third time in the election of 1960, but was defeated by Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

US Ambassador to the UN

Upon his inauguration on 20 January 1961, President Kennedy appointed Adlai Stevenson the United States Ambassador to the United Nations in New York.

13 February 1961: President Kennedy hears of Congolese PM Patrice Lumumba's murder from UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson

Three days earlier, in a coup allegedly engineered by Maurice Tempelsman with the connivance of the CIA and MI6, Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba had been murdered in Katanga province. James DiEugenio noted:

"The information about his death was kept from President Kennedy for almost a month. He did not learn about Lumumba's murder until February 13th. He learned of it on a phone call with UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson. White House photographer Jacques Lowe captured the moment in a crystalline photograph."[2]

Stevenson remained en poste at the UN until he died on 14 July 1965, in London after suffering a heart attack.

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  1. John Frederick Martin, Historically Speaking (2013) 14#4 p4 "The Trappings of Democracy"
  2. Document:Hammarskjold and Kennedy vs. The Power Elite