Adlai Ewing Stevenson II was an American lawyer, politician, and diplomat, noted for his intellectual demeanor, eloquent public speaking, and promotion of progressive causes in the Democratic Party. Stevenson served in numerous positions in the federal government during the 1930s and 1940s, including the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, Federal Alcohol Administration, United States Department of the Navy, and the United States Department of State. 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. He was the 31st Governor of Illinois from 1949 to 1953, and received the Democratic Party's nomination for president in the 1952 and 1956 elections.
In both 1952 and 1956, Stevenson was defeated in a landslide by Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower. He sought the Democratic presidential nomination for a third time at the 1960 Democratic National Convention, but was defeated by Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts. After his election, President Kennedy appointed Stevenson as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He served from 1961 to 1965.