Adlai Ewing Stevenson II was an American lawyer, politician, and diplomat.
Raised in Bloomington, Illinois, Stevenson was a member of the Democratic Party. He served in numerous positions in the federal government during the 1930s and 1940s, including the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, Federal Alcohol Administration, Department of the Navy, and the State Department. In 1945, he served on the committee that created the United Nations, and he was a member of the initial U.S. delegations to the UN.
In 1948, he was elected governor of Illinois, defeating incumbent governor Dwight H. Green in a surprise upset. As governor, he reformed the state police, cracked down on illegal gambling, improved the state highways, and attempted to cleanse the state government of corruption. Stevenson also sought to reform the Illinois state constitution and introduced several crime bills in the state legislature. However, his efforts at constitutional reform and the crime bills failed to pass the state legislature.
In the 1952 and 1956 presidential elections, he was chosen as the Democratic nominee for president, but was defeated in a landslide by Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower both times.