Senator Adlai E. Stevenson III
Once a man holds public office he is absolutely no good for honest work.
Will Rogers
     
 
Senator Adlai E. Stevenson III
 
 
Dead at the Age of 90
 
 

Senator Adlai E. Stevenson III died peacefully on Monday, September 6, 2021. He died of complications related to Lewy body disease. He was surround by family and friends at his home in Chicago. He was 90 years old.

Born into an Illinois political family, Adlai E. Stevenson III carved a path through American politics that placed him at the forefront of leaders who foresaw the nature of the post-WWII order and prepared the United States to thrive within it. The son of Illinois Governor (1949-1953) and two-time Democratic nominee for President Adlai Stevenson II, and great-grandson of former Vice President Adlai Stevenson, Senator Stevenson employed his legacy and institutional savvy to promote future-oriented policies in finance, technology and innovation to sustain the United States’ leadership position in a collaborative world order.

As comfortable at his farm near Galena, IL as he was in the halls of power in Washington, Senator Stevenson epitomized a generation of American political leadership that was able to connect the heart of America to the forward-looking policies that would sustain its primacy in world affairs.

Stevenson was born in Chicago, IL in 1930, the son of Adlai Stevenson and Ellen Borden. He attended Milton Academy in Massachusetts, Harvard College (1952) and Harvard Law School (1957.) Stevenson was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1952, served in Korea and was discharged from active duty in 1954. He continued to serve in the Marine Reserves and was discharged in 1961 as a captain.

Stevenson met his future wife, Nancy Anderson, in 1953 while he was in tank training at Fort Knox, Kentucky in preparation for his deployment to Japan and then Korea. The couple was married in 1955 at Nancy’s home outside of Louisville.

After serving in the Illinois House of Representatives (1965-1967) and as Illinois State Treasurer (1967-70) Stevenson was elected to the United States Senate in a 1970 election to fill the balance of the term of Everett Dirksen who died in office. He was reelected in 1974.

In the Senate, Stevenson served on the Commerce Committee (Chairman of the Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space,) Banking Committee (Chairman of the Subcommittee on International Finance) and Intelligence Committee (Chairman, Subcommittee on the Collection and Production of Intelligence.) A reformer, he served as the first Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee and Chairman of a Special Committee which led the first major reorganization of the Senate since its Committee was formed in the early 19th Century.

Stevenson co-authored the energy legislation of the mid-1970’s as Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Oil and Gas Production, including legislation to establish the Department of Energy, fuel efficiency standards, emergency natural gas pricing and projects for development of alternative energy sources. To promote economic competitiveness, he authored the Stevenson Wydler Technology Innovation Act which spurred cooperative research and the technological innovation which followed in the 1990’s. Stevenson’s experience in the Middle East led him to conduct the first in depth Congressional studies of terrorism, introducing the Comprehensive Anti -Terrorism Act of 1979 with predictions of “spectacular acts of destruction and disruption” and an “international terrorist scene.”

Stevenson opted to not run for reelection in 1980 and returned to Illinois to practice law and mount a campaign for Governor against incumbent Republican James R. Thompson. The 1982 contest ended up in court when the final tally showed Stevenson trailing by 5,074, or 0.14 percent of the nearly 3.7 million votes cast.

Four year later Stevenson’s second attempt at the Governor’s Mansion was derailed in the March Primary when the candidates he supported for Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State were upset by followers of the controversial, fringe gadfly Lyndon LaRouche. Stevenson was forced to resign his Democratic nomination and form a third party which doomed his chances. He said at the time he “would never run on a ticket with candidates who espouse the hate-filled folly of Lyndon LaRouche.” Though Stevenson went down to defeat along with his third-party candidates for Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of state, all the other Democratic statewide candidates and nearly all the other Democrats on the ballot won their races.

In and out of government, Stevenson’s career had focused on international issues, especially in finance and East Asia, including development of an East Asian monetary regime which he saw as part of the foundation for a global monetary regime grounded on the International Monetary Fund but reflecting the shift of economic resources to the East. He was a past President of the U.S. Committee of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, former Co-Chair of the East Asia Financial Markets Development Project, former President and Chairman of the Japan America Society of Chicago, former Chairman of the Midwest U.S. Japan Association, a member of the U.S. Korea Wisemen Council, the Advisory Board of the Korea Economic Institute and member of the U.S. Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific.

He was Chairman of SC&M Investment Management Company (the first Sino-U.S. financial intermediary, Founder and Chairman of the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy, and Chairman of the Midwest U.S. China Association. He authored “The Black Book” which records American politics and history as his family knew it over five generations of active engagement, starting with Abraham Lincoln in central Illinois.

Stevenson’s eldest grandchild, Kate Neher, wrote to him in a letter shortly before his death: “Sometimes, when I’m being flippant about my family’s history, I say I’m ‘descended from a long line of politicians who were too idealistic for their own good.’ I value the way you’ve always seemed to approach politics – with honesty and a stubborn belief that the right and thoughtful thing is worth doing, even when it’s not the most advantageous thing.

He is survived by his wife Nancy, and brothers John and Borden. Adlai and Nancy have four children, Adlai IV (Adlai IV (former wife Barbara Ligner Stevenson), Lucy Stevenson (Husband Christopher Neher), Katherine Stevenson (husband Larry Kramer), and Warwick Stevenson (wife Winnie Stevenson). Adlai and Nancy also have nine grandchildren, Adlai Stevenson V, Katherine Neher, Anna Neher Johnston, Maxwell Kramer, Benjamin Kramer, Toby Bahrmasel, Jonas Bahrmasel, Olivia Bahrmasel and Liam Bahrmasel.

 
     
 
Senator Stevenson's Biography
 
 

Adlai E. Stevenson III,  a former US Senator, has lived, studied and worked for more than 70 years in more than 80 countries. He serves in numerous business and public policy related capacities, including  Chairman of SC&M Investment Management Company, founder and a Director of Hua Mei Capital Company( the first Sino US financial intermediary), Chairman of the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy and Chairman of the Midwest US China Association. He is author of The Black Book which records American politics and history as his family knew it over five generations of active engagement starting with Lincoln in central Illinois.

Stevenson is a Marine Corps veteran of the Korean war, former Clerk to a Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and former Partner in the law firm of Mayer, Brown. He served in the Illinois House of Representatives 1965-67, winning a Best Legislator award from the Independent Voters of Illinois, and as Illinois State Treasurer, 1967-70, where he quadrupled earnings on the investment of State funds while cutting the budget each year. In 1970, he was elected to the balance of deceased Senator Everett Dirksen's term in the U.S. Senate and was re elected in 1974, both times by record breaking margins. He retired from the Senate in 1981. He was the Democratic candidate for Governor of Illinois in 1982 and 1986.

In the Senate, Stevenson served on the Commerce Committee (Chairman of the Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space), Banking Committee (Chairman of the Subcommittee on International Finance) and Intelligence Committee (Chairman, Subcommittee on the Collection and Production of Intelligence). A reformer, he served as the first Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee and Chairman of a Special Committee which led the first major reorganization of the Senate since its Committee system was formed in the early 19th Century. He also served on the Senate Majority's Policy Committee.

In the Senate, Stevenson co authored the energy legislation of the mid 1970's as Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oil and Gas Production, including legislation to establish the Department of Energy, fuel efficiency standards, emergency natural gas pricing and projects for development of alternative energy sources. To promote economic competitiveness, he authored the Stevenson Wydler Technology Innovation Act and  companion "Bayh Dole" Act which together spurred cooperative research and the technological innovation which followed in the 90's. Among  others, he  authored the International Banking Act to establish "national treatment" for foreign banks in the U.S., the Export Trading Company Act to encourage the creation of US trading companies, legislation to liberalize export controls and deregulate transportation, as well as over seeing NASA and development of the US space program.

Stevenson's experience in the Middle East led him to conduct the first Congressional in depth studies of terrorism, introducing the Comprehensive Anti Terrorism Act of 1979 with predictions of "spectacular acts of destruction and disruption" and an "an international terrorist scene." He authored the Arab Anti Boycott Act which made it unlawful for US companies to participate in the Arab boycott of Israel, but an attempt to distance the US from the settlements policy of the Likkud government of Israel led to his defeat in the 1982 election for Governor of Illinois. Though the election was virtually tied, and evidence of widespread election irregularities, including a failed punch card system for recording votes, was presented to the Illinois Supreme Court, it denied his request for a recount by one vote. He was renominated by the Democratic Party for Governor in 1986, but candidates of the LaRouche cult were nominated for Lt. Governor and Secretary of State, forcing him to resign the nomination and run as a third Party candidate. He won 40% of the vote.

Since living in London, 1945-6, where he attended Harrow School, Stevenson has traveled, worked and served in many capacities in many countries and regions. In and out of government his career has focused on international issues, especially in finance and East Asia, including  development of an East Asian monetary regime which he  sees as part of the foundation for a global monetary regime grounded on the International Monetary Fund but reflecting the shift of economic resources to the East. He is a past President of the US Committee of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, former Co Chairman of the East Asia Financial Markets Development Project, Former President and Chairman of the Japan America Society of Chicago, former Chairman of the Midwest US Japan Association, a Member of the US Korea Wisemen Council, Member of the Advisory Board of the Korea Economic Institute and Member of the US Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific.

Stevenson has lectured widely, authored numerous articles and is the recipient of many honors, including Japan's Order of the Sacred Treasure with Gold and Silver Star. He is an Honorary Professor of Renmin University, Beijing, PRC.

Stevenson manages a farm near Galena, Illinois and maintains an office and home in Chicago. He is a graduate of Harvard College, '52 and Harvard Law School, '57. He and his wife, Nancy, have two sons, two daughters and nine grandchildren.
 
 

AES3 - China - 1975

Adlai E. Stevenson III in China, 1975