ADLAI E. STEVENSON WAS a public-minded Democrat and gifted orator who was twice nominated for president. Adlai Ewing Stevenson II was born February 5, 1900, in Los Angeles, California, son of Lewis G. Stevenson and Helen (Davis) Stevenson. He was named for his grandfather, Adlai E. Stevenson, vice president of the United States under Grover Cleveland in his second term.

An early event in Stevenson's life is believed to have shaped his humanitarianism. He accidentally killed a girl, Ruth Merwin, while playing with a gun at a Christmas party when they were both 12. Stevenson attended Choate School and graduated with a bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1922 and a law degree from Northwestern University in 1926. He then practiced law in Chicago, Illinois. Stevenson ...

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