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Adlai Stevenson III

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Adlai Stevenson III

Adlai Ewing Stevenson III (born October 10, 1930, in Chicago) was an American politician of the Democratic party.

He attended Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and received a bachelor's degree (1952) and a law degree (1957) there. Stevenson enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean war (1952-1954), serving as a tank platoon commander, and was discharged as a first lieutenant. He continued to served in the Marine Reserves and was discharged in 1961 as a captain.

In 1957, Stevenson went to work as a clerk at the Illinois Supreme Court and worked there until 1958. In 1964, Stevenson was elected an Illinois state representative, in which capacity he served from 1965 to 1967. He then served as Illinois state treasurer (1967-1970). When U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen (R-Ill.) died in office in 1969, Stevenson was elected in a special election to fill Dirksen's unexpired term. Stevenson was re-elected to the seat in 1974, serving in the U.S. Senate from 1970 to 1981. In 1980, Stevenson declined to stand for re-election again.

Stevenson unsuccessfully 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 but a recount gave the very narrow victory to Thompson. In the 1986 campaign two followers of Lyndon LaRouche won the Democratic Party primary for the nominations to Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State. Stevenson objected to their platform and refused to appear on the same ticket. The Solidarity Party was created to provide an alternate slate, which split and confused the Thompson opposition.

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 E. Stevenson II, was governor of Illinois and two time Democratic presidential nominee. Actor McLean Stevenson is his father's first cousin.

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Preceded by:
Ralph Tyler Smith
Class 3 U.S. Senator from Illinois
1970–1981
Succeeded by:
Alan J. Dixon

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