The Adlai Stevenson Page

Adlai E. Stevenson II

Adlai Stevenson had financial ties to Brown Brothers Harriman from 1942 (see below). He got the Democratic presidential nomination after W. Averell Harriman, Skull & Bones 1913, withdrew from the race and threw his support to Stevenson. (Nominate Gov. Stevenson. Chicago Daily Tribune, Jul. 26, 1952.) His appointment secretary, William McCormick Blair Jr., was the son of William McCormick Blair, Skull & Bones 1907. Marshall Field Jr. was a large contributor to his 1952 campaign, $7500. (Fund Contributor List Submitted. Los Angeles Times, Sep. 28, 1952.)

Adlai Ewing Stevenson (1900-1965) was the grandson of Vice President Adlai E. Stevenson (1893-1897). He was chairman of the Chicago chapter of the Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies, a pro-intervention group colluding with British intelligence, which had close ties to the Roosevelt administration. In 1945 he became assistant to the secretary of state and "served as an advisor to the U.S. delegation to the San Francisco Conference that founded the UN. He was named senior advisor to the U.S. delegation at the first meeting of the UN General Assembly (1946) and was a U.S. delegate at Assembly meetings in New York (1946-47)... With the election of Pres. John F. Kennedy in 1960, Stevenson was appointed chief U.S. representative to the UN, holding Cabinet rank and the title of ambassador" until his death in 1965.

Stevenson bio / Harvard Square Library

Stevenson "served on the Board of Trustees of Encyclopedia Brittanica and acted as their legal counsel."

Stevenson / Encyclopedia Britannica

Stevenson's first cousin was McLean Stevenson, who played Colonel Blake in the politically correct TV show, M*A*S*H.

The three Adlai E. Stevensons / Political Graveyard

From a book review of "Short of the Glory: The Fall and Redemption of Edward F. Pritchard Jr. '35," by Tracy Campbell: "In Washington, Pritchard -- first as a clerk and then as a New Deal administrator -- was the toast of a tight-knit intelligentsia that lived and dined together. It included future Washington Post publisher Philip Graham and his wife-to-be, Katharine; New York Times editor John Oakes '34; labor leader Walter Reuther; future Secretary of State Dean Acheson; politician Adlai Stevenson '22; physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer; philosopher Isaiah Berlin; columnist Drew Pearson; and lobbyist Tommy 'The Cork' Corcoran."

Jacobson / Princeton University

Simon Rifkind

1960 Presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kennedy's dinner at the River Club: "The dinner was attended by about thirty persons. Among them were James Bruce, who was co-chairman of the Business Men's Committee for Stevenson in 1956, and former Federal Court Judge Simon F. Rifkind, a law associate of Adlai E. Stevenson." (Kennedy 'Happy' With Drive Here. New York Times, Aug. 12, 1960.) Bruce and Rifkind had been elected to the board of directors of Loew's Theatres in May of that year; in 1968 it acquired the P. Lorillard Tobacco Company.

"Paul, Weiss, Rifkin, Wharton & Garrison... Partners from the Chicago office, which is no longer in existence, were the following: Adlai Stevenson, U.N., Willard Wirtz, Labor Department; Newton Minow, chairman of the FCC; and William McCormick Blair, ambassador to Denmark. After Paul's death and Stevenson's departure, what was left of the Washington office was merged into the Washington firm of Arnold, Fortas and Porter...." Clients included Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co. and Young & Rubicam International, Inc. The source given for this is the book, Lions in the Street; the Inside Story of the Great Law Firms, by Paul Hoffman (1973). The successor firm of Arnold, Fortas and Porter, Arnold & Porter, threw the Minnesota tobacco lawsuit to the anti-smokers.

Adlai Stevenson Papers

"...Many leading lights of the Democratic Party are represented in the correspondence, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Jacob Arvey, the Kennedys, J. William Fulbright, Stephen Mitchell, Edmund G. Brown, and many others. Their correspondence reveals Stevenson's role as the titular head of the Democratic Party for most of the 1950s, as well as his tireless support and interest in Democratic officeholders and candidates throughout the country.... Included among those individuals with whom Stevenson corresponded frequently" are William McC Blair (1940-1965) and Mary Lasker (1951-1965). Other correspondents are Claude Pepper (1938-1964), Florence Mahoney (1953-1961) and Paul G. Hoffman (1952-1965). He was a correspondent of Roosevelt's Secretary of the Interior, Harold L. Ickes (who resigned his post in in 1946 saying "I am against government by crony") from 1934 to 1951. He corresponded with Robert M. Hutchins (president and chancellor of the University of Chicago between 1929 and 1951, and Chairman of the Board of Editors of Encyclopedia Brittanica from 1943 to 1974), from 1939 to 1965. Stevenson himself was on the Board of EB, and correspondence dates from 1955 to 1965. Reynolds Metals Co. was one of his legal clients (1955-1961). Financial correspondence with Brown Brothers Harriman dates from 1942 to 1965; and his correspondence with international diamond merchant Maurice Tempelsman (who is originally from Belgium) dates from 1955. It is surely no coincidence that Stevenson's cousin James Ewing was appointed US ambassador to Belgium. Tempelsman is now the chairman of the Harvard AIDS Institute, whose co-chair is Mrs. William McCormick Blair Jr.

"In 1940, Colonel Frank Knox, newly appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as Secretary of the Navy, offered Stevenson a position as his special assistant. In this capacity, Stevenson wrote speeches, represented Secretary Knox and the Navy on committees, toured the various theatres of war, and handled many administrative duties. From December 1943 to January 1944, he participated in a special mission to Sicily and Italy for the Foreign Economic Administration to report on the country's economy. After Knox's death in 1944, Stevenson returned to Chicago and attempted to purchase Knox's controlling interest in the Chicago Daily News, but another party outbid his syndicate."

Adali Stevenson Papers / Princeton University

"Edward Lasker went into the Navy shortly after Pearl Harbor; he served first in Washington as an assistant to his father's friend, Frank Knox of the Chicago Daily News, who had become Roosevelt's Secretary of the Navy, and in 1942 went to sea. He spent most of his duty in the Pacific, set up a lively record, and rose to be a lieutenant commander. After the war he and Caral Gimbel were divorced." William Donovan, Robert R. McCormick, and Albert Lasker had been Knox's chief backers in the Landon-Knox presidential campaign against Roosevelt and Wallace in 1936. (From: Taken at the Flood. The Story of Albert D. Lasker, by John Gunther. Harper & Brothers, 1960.) Donovan was an unofficial observer for the Secretary of the Navy in Great Britain and SE Europe from 1940 to 1941.

"The Knox estate lost no time in putting the Daily News on the auction block. Adlai Stevenson, Knox's Washington deputy and a rising figure in his own right, was the sentimental choice to carry off the prize. But the cautious Stevenson let himself be outbid and outmaneuvered by John S. Knight, an austere-looking man who already owned sucessful papers in Miami, Detroit, and his native Akron, Ohio." (The Colonel. The Life and Legend of Robert R. McCormick, 1880-1955. By Richard Norton Smith. Houghton Mifflin Co. 1997, pp. 459-460.)

The Stevenson Presidential Campaign

Adlai Stevenson Jr. ran for president against Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956, and Eleanor Roosevelt, Anna Rosenberg, and Mary Lasker were key DNC supporters who worked together on his behalf. (Eleanor: The Years Alone, by Joseph P. Lash. WW Norton & Co., 1972). "He developed a close relationship with Mary Lasker in the fifties. She contributed heavily to his political projects, entertained him and his friends in her beautiful town house on Beekman Place and her country house." (Adlai Stevenson and the World. By John Bartlow Martin. Doubleday, 1977; p. 26.)

Stevenson's papers include a master plan for managing the campaign prepared by the Svengali of advertising, Edward L. Bernays. In 1957 Stevenson returned to practicing law, with W. Willard Wirtz, William McCormick Blair Jr., and Newton Minow. Blair accompanied Stevenson on world travels, and was Stevenson's executive assistant while he was US ambassador to the United Nations from 1961 until 1965. Mary Lasker was one of his frequent correspondents. Mrs. William McCormick Blair Jr. is Deeda Blair of the Lasker Foundation.

Adlai E. Stevenson Papers / Princeton University

"In 1958, helped by testimony from Encyclopedia Britannica's Bill Benton, former FCC Chairman Newt Minow, Anna Rosenberg Hoffman, and Adlai Stevenson (who would become chairman of the board of directors of EB Films the following year), the Congress passed Public Law 85-864, the National Defense Education Act (NDEA), authorizing the government to distribute $480 million in matching funds to assist educational institutions in developing curriculum, programs, and learning aids, including film and audio-visual equipment... Elementary and Secondary School Act of 1965 (ASEA): Title II, authorizing $100 million for library resources, and Title III, which allocated $100 million for use in several areas, audio-visual aids and programmed materials among them (Project Discovery, and lobbying by Benton et al. changed focus away from textbooks)..." (Key federal programs leading to increased funds for academic films. Geoff Alexander, Association of Moving Image Archivists Conference, Boston, Nov. 2002.)

"Family and Friends of Adlai Stevenson to Speak at Princeton University" (Princeton University Office of Communications, Jan. 28, 2000). These included William McCormick Blair, Jr.; historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., who worked on Stevenson's campaigns and served in the White House under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson; Willard Wirtz, the Undersecretary and Secretary of Labor in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and one of Stevenson's law partners; and Newton N. Minow, another law partner, who served in Stevenson's administration in Illinois and worked on his campaigns; and later became chairman of the Federal Communications Commission and the Rand Corporation.

Family and Friends of Adlai Stevenson / Princeton University

Stevenson was a correspondent of John Foster Dulles [brother of CIA director Allen W. Dulles] between 1946 and 1958.

John Foster Dulles Papers / Princeton University

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cast 02-14-09