portrait of Adlai Stevenson
White House photo by Warren K. Leffler, 23 June 1961

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Quotes of the Day for 5 February 2003 – Adlai Stevenson

Adlai Ewing Stevenson was born at Los Angeles, California on this day in 1900. He grew up in Bloomington, Illinois, went to college at Princeton and then law school at Harvard, which he left after two years due to failing grades. He completed his law degree at Northwestern in 1926. His family was very political, and the young Adlai was coached by his grandfather (also Adlai) who had been vice president under Grover Cleveland. He served as assistant to the Secretary of the Navy, then to the Secretary of State, and represented the US at the UN from before the founding of that body until 1948, when he was a reluctant but successful candidate for governor of Illinois. An intellectual and astute observer of foreign affairs, he made foreign policy a key part of his 1952 and 1956 campaigns for president. His advisors said such a campaign would not succeed, they were right. He deferred to John F. Kennedy in the 1960 campaign, the young president sent him back to the UN where Stevenson served until his death in 1965. I was too young to know anything about him at the time, but my parents loved him for his insight and gentle wit. Here is a sample.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

A beauty is a woman you notice; a charmer is one who notices you.

A politician is a statesman who approaches every question with an open mouth.

Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them.

Nature is indifferent to the survival of the Human species, including Americans.

There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody.

We have confused the free with the free and easy.
     - All from Adlai Ewing Stevenson, 1900 - 1965

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