US Stamps

By Michael Baadke

Born Feb. 5: Adlai E. Stevenson II

February 05, 2015 05:55 AM

  • Adlai E. Stevenson II, who served as ambassador to the United Nations, was born Feb. 5, 1900.

Adlai E. Stevenson II was born Feb. 5, 1900, the grandson of Adlai E. Stevenson, who served as vice president of the United States under Grover Cleveland from 1893 to 1897.

The younger Stevenson served in the U.S. Navy and graduated from Princeton University in 1922, later obtaining a law degree from Northwestern University.

He worked in the administration of President Franklin Roosevelt and then became governor of Illinois in 1949, leading to his nomination as the Democratic candidate for president in 1952. He was soundly defeated by Dwight Eisenhower, and the same match-up in the 1956 presidential election produced the same result.

In 1960 John F. Kennedy was the Democratic candidate. Following his election, Kennedy named Stevenson to the post of ambassador to the United Nations.

As U.N. ambassador he was instrumental in confronting the Soviet Union during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and he sought a solution to the growing threat of nuclear weapons escalation.

Stevenson died July 14, 1965. A 5¢ commemorative stamp honoring him was issued just three months later, on Oct. 23, 1965.