CHICAGO – Adlai Stevenson III, a former US senator who came close to becoming governor of Illinois, has died at the age of 90.
FOX 32 political editor Mike Flannery covered three of Stevenson’s statewide campaigns and is now looking back on his career.
Stevenson comes from one of the oldest political families in the state. His grandfather, Adlai Stevenson I, was Vice President of the United States in the 1890s and his father, Adlai Stevenson II, was Governor of Illinois and was a two-time Democratic candidate for President in the years. 1950, losing both times.
Adlai Stevenson III was a stubborn reformer.
“In the Senate, you are patient and you gain trust and confidence by demonstrating your wisdom, your integrity and your commitment to the institution,” Stevenson said.
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During his 10 years in the United States Senate, Stevenson became chairman of the ethics committee, a position some senators have avoided because they do not want to judge their colleagues. Stevenson embraced the role and helped draft the Senate’s very first code of ethics.
He has also campaigned, often unsuccessfully, to reform the way American political campaigns are funded, as well as the crudely political process by which party leaders in Illinois essentially choose judges.
Stevenson died Monday at his home on the North Side of Chicago. Several years ago, she was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia, a disease that sometimes mimics Parkinson’s symptoms.
The family tell FOX 32 that a small private funeral is planned for next weekend at one of their favorite locations – Jo Daviess County.