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Former US Sen. Adlai Stevenson III Dies at 90

Great-grandson of a US vice president, he served a decade in Congress
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 8, 2021 12:59 AM CDT
Former US Sen. Adlai Stevenson III Dies at 90
In this Oct. 14, 1982, file photo, Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate Adlai Stevenson III, left, talks with Sen. Edward Kennedy, right, talk as they finish a series of appearances in Chicago.   (AP Photo/File)

(Newser) – Former US Sen. Adlai Stevenson III of Illinois has died at his home on Chicago's North Side. He was 90. His son Adlai Stevenson IV, who confirmed the Illinois Democrat died on Monday, said his father had dementia, the AP reports. “He just faded away,” his son said. Before his health declined, Stevenson kept active organizing presentations and speakers for the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy in Libertyville, Ill. He also worked on the family farm in Hanover, Ill., raising cattle, growing corn and hay for their feed, and chopping wood.

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Stevenson was the great-grandson of former Vice President Adlai Stevenson. His father, Adlai Stevenson II, was a former Illinois governor and two-time presidential candidate. When running for the Senate, where he was first elected in 1970 to serve out the remainder of the late Sen. Everett Dirksen’s term, Stevenson asked then-Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley for advice. “My advice to you is don’t change your name,” Daley told him, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Stevenson was reelected in 1974, but decided not to run again in 1980. He stepped aside in January 1981 for fellow Democrat Alan Dixon, who won the November election.

Stevenson ran for governor of Illinois twice, losing his 1982 run by just 5,074 votes to Republican Gov. Jim Thompson. It is the closest Illinois election for governor in modern state history. He ran again, and lost to Thompson again, in 1986, the Hill reports. Stevenson III graduated from Milton Academy, Harvard College, and Harvard Law School. He served with the Marine Corps in Korea and was discharged as a captain from the Marine Reserves in 1961. He is survived by his wife, Nancy; two sons, Adlai IV and Warwick; two brothers, John and Borden; and nine grandchildren.

(Read more Adlai Stevenson stories.)

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