Adlai E. Stevenson II was a thinker, diplomat, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, U.S. presidential candidate, governor of Illinois, journalist, and more.

He was born in 1900 into a family deeply rooted in politics. He was named after his grandfather, U.S. Vice President Adlai Stevenson (1835-1914). His maternal grandfather Jesse Fell (1808-1887) — a well-known name in Illinois and a strong influence on the young Adlai — is credited with convincing Abraham Lincoln to run for the presidency.

Elected governor of Illinois in 1948, Adlai gained respect and national attention for his progressive, liberal* viewpoints. His ability to attract young, talented people to government was admired, as was his fiscal conservatism* and ability to manage state finances.

Until his death in 1965, Adlai felt that being involved in public life was critical to the survival of democratic society and to achieving world peace. He remains an active presence today. Quoted by leaders and studied by scholars, he is a standard by which political leaders are measured for their integrity and their commitment to the principles of democracy.

His ideas remain relevant — perhaps critical — even today.
This site offers visitors various means to explore Adlai's core ideas through Adlai's own words, an Archive of historic texts, historian interpretations, and tools to examine Adlai's ideas and legacy in Today's News.

Adlai's Ideas
One way to consider Adlai's ideas is to notice three underlying core values that permeate his life's work:

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Adlai was a thinker. He was an intellectual who believed in the power of careful thought and dialogue. He trusted — and expected — people to think for themselves and to participate actively in public life. ( more )

CARE button
Adlai cared. He went out of his way to learn about people. He talked with people directly, then translated what he learned into policies that responded to their needs. ( more )

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Adlai connected with people. And, he expected people to connect with one another — to understand and be responsible for their neighbors both at home and abroad. Adlai became a recognized world leader and a strong advocate for making global connections. ( more )

Printable Summary of Adlai's Ideas button
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