Adlai Stevenson was a leading Democrat of the 1950s, famed for his quick wit and deep intellect, and for his eloquence in support of liberal causes. (Those same qualities led detractors to nickname him The Egghead.) He was the Democratic candidate for president in 1952 and 1956, losing badly both times to Dwight Eisenhower. Stevenson was the governor of Illinois from 1949-53, and served as the American ambassador to the United Nations during the John Kennedy administration. Stevenson's son, Adlai III, later was a United States senator from Illinois (1970-81).
Stevenson’s grandfather, the first Adlai Stevenson, was vice president during Grover Cleveland‘s second term (1893-97)… During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Stevenson made a dramatic speech in the United Nations, confronting the Soviet Union about its missiles in Cuba. In modern politics, similar incidents of high political drama are sometimes called “Adlai Stevenson moments.”