Former Sen. Adlai Stevenson III dies at 90

Former Illinois Sen. Adlai Stevenson III (D) has died at the age of 90.

Stevenson's son, Adlai Stevenson IV, confirmed to the Chicago Sun-Times that his father died on Monday in Chicago, adding he had dementia.

“He just faded away,” the younger Stevenson told the newspaper.


Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) praised the elder Stevenson's "passion for democracy" in a statement following news of his death while offering condolences to Stevenson's loved ones "on behalf of the Land of Lincoln."

"Whether in elected office, in the Marines, or in nonprofit work, Adlai Stevenson III lived each day of his 90 years as an example of public service. His commitment to global exchange is as evident here in Illinois as it is abroad," Pritzker said.

Illinois Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinManchin: Negotiators to miss Friday target for deal on reconciliation bill Democrats look for plan B on filibuster The Memo: Cuts to big bill vex Democrats MORE, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, remembered Stevenson as his "friend and partner in countless causes over the years."

"Like his father before him, Adlai was most at home in the cerebral world of politics," Durbin said. "His most effective ally in retail politics was his beloved wife, Nancy. The two were inseparable and one of the best teams in Illinois Democratic politics. Loretta and I send our love and sympathy to Nancy and the family.”

Stevenson was the scion to a political family of Illinois Democrats, sharing his name with his father and great-grandfather, who served as the 23rd U.S. vice president.

His father, Adlai Stevenson II, served as Illinois's governor for one term as well as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. He was also the Democratic nominee for U.S. president twice, in 1952 and 1956.


The third Adlai Stevenson was elected to the U.S. Senate during a special election in 1970 to replace Sen. Everett M. Dirksen (R), who had died in office. He served for 10 years in the Senate before deciding to not run for another term in 1981.

After his Senate career, Stevenson unsuccessfully ran for Illinois governor twice, in 1982 and 1986. After his second failed gubernatorial, Stevenson retired from politics.

According to the Sun-Times, Stevenson had continued to organize presentations and speakers at the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy in Libertyville, Ill., before his health declined. He also worked on his family's farm in Hanover, Ill.