Former U.S. Sen. Adlai Stevenson III carried on Lake County family's tradition of politics
He came within nearly 5,000 votes of being governor of Illinois. But four years later, he bolted the Democratic ticket to run as a third-party candidate after voters saddled him with a couple of fringe candidate as running mates.
For the better part of a century his name was a household word in U.S. politics -- a member of a political dynasty with Lake County roots that included both those who served in the White House and those who sought to but fell short.
Former U.S. Sen. Adlai Stevenson III died Monday at his home on the North Side of Chicago at age 90.
His son Adlai Stevenson IV, who confirmed the Illinois Democrat's death, said his father had dementia.
"He just faded away," his son said.
Before his health declined, Stevenson kept active organizing presentations and speakers for the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy, which leases space on the property of the Stevenson family's historic home in Mettawa. Subsequent owners donated the estate to the Lake County Forest Preserve in 1974.
Adlai Ewing Stevenson was born in Chicago in 1930, the great-grandson of former Vice President Adlai Stevenson -- who served in the Grover Cleveland administration -- and the son of Adlai Stevenson II, a former Illinois governor, two-time presidential candidate in the 1950s and namesake of Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire who with his wife had the family home built in Lake County in 1938.
A 1970 New York Times profile of the younger Stevenson, and "The Black Book" website inspired by his book of the same name, said he attended five different grade and prep schools, including the public schools of Lake Forest, then Harrow School in England in 1945-46 while his father was with the United Nations Preparatory Commission, and then Milton Academy in Massachusetts, where future Senate colleague Ted Kennedy was a schoolmate.