Issue One remembers the life of ReFormer Adlai Stevenson III of Illinois

Issue One mourns the loss of former Senator Adlai Stevenson III (D-IL), an active member of Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of more than 200 former members of Congress, governors, and Cabinet secretaries united to fix America’s broken political system. 

Senator Stevenson III passed away on September 6. He was 90 years old.

As the descendant of a robust political lineage that features former United States Vice President Adlai Stevenson, and former Governor of Illinois Adlai Stevenson II, Adlai Stevenson III was never a stranger to public service. 

Before beginning his career in the annals of the U.S. Capitol, former Senator Stevenson was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Marine Corps in 1952, serving nine years before being discharged as a captain in 1961. 

By 1965, Stevenson would go on to serve in the Illinois House of Representatives until 1967. That same year, Stevenson would relinquish his representative seat to become Illinois Treasurer, a position he faithfully served until 1970.

Later in 1970, Treasurer Stevenson of Illinois would become U.S. Senator Stevenson of Illinois after winning a special election to fill a vacancy left by the late former Senator Everett Dirksen. 

During his 11 year tenure as Senator, Adlai Stevenson became a stalwart for government accountability and ethics. Stevenson introduced legislation that led to the creation of the Senate Ethics Committee, co-sponsored the “Government in the Sunshine” Act which opened government agency meetings to the general public, and was a strong advocate for the Campaign Contributions Act of 1979 which improved regulatory measures for donations to PACs. 

Following his Senate career, Senator Stevenson founded the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy in 2008 to “enhance the global understanding and practice of democracy,” and “address challenges to democratic systems of government and conceive practical ways of addressing them.”

Senator Adlai Stevenson III embodied the ethos of Issue One and the ReFormers Caucus throughout his career, and we thank him for his many years of service to this nation. He will be greatly missed.