Adlai E Stevenson 3 Case 6

Following in His Father’s Footsteps

Letter, Eleanor Roosevelt to Adlai Stevenson III

Adlai Stevenson III grew up in his prominent father’s shadow, making the connections he would someday need for success in politics. Here, Eleanor Roosevelt writes to Adlai III promising to stop at a party in New York as a favor to Adlai II.

Bumper sticker

Carved desk set

Adlai Stevenson III benefited from his family’s political connections and name recognition, but unlike his father, who started his electoral career in the race for governor, Adlai III wanted to work his way up. He first served a term in the Illinois House of Representatives before running for state treasurer in 1966.

Adlai III reached the pinnacle of his career in the United States Senate from 1970 until 1981. This carved desk set adorned Adlai III’s desk during his years in the senate where he led the effort for ethics reform. In retirement, he echoed his father’s concerns about money in politics, observing that retiring members of Congress often “stay in Washington to multiply their salaries as lobbyists, consultants, and lawyers”—something that had not been normal during his time in office.

Background Image: Advertisement for a Democratic fundraiser at the Stevenson farm in Libertyville during Adlai III’s run for treasurer.

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