This past week saw the birthday of Adlai E. Stevenson II (1900-1965), a political colleague of Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley. Stevenson hailed from from a distinguished family (his grandfather had been Vice President of the United States), served as Illinois Governor from 1949 to 1953, received the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in 1952 and 1956, and served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1965.

Governor Adlai Stevenson's cabinet-Richard Daley was director of revenue

Governor Adlai Stevenson II and his cabinet. Richard J. Daley, Director of Revenue, is seated on far right. RJD_04_01_0044_0001_001

Daley served as Illinois’s Director of Revenue under Governor Stevenson, and the two forged a friendship marked by mutual admiration and respect.

Richard J. Daley shaking hands with Adlai Stevenson II. Joseph Gill, Jacob Arvey, and Chicago Mayor Martin Kennelly are looking on,

Richard J. Daley about two months after he was elected chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. He is shaking hands with Adlai Stevenson II. Joseph Gill, Jacob Arvey, and Chicago Mayor Martin Kennelly are looking on, September 1953. RJD_04_01_0045_0001_002

In 1955, Stevenson endorsed Daley in the latter’s first campaign to be Mayor of Chicago. For an excerpt of television ads from that campaign, see the following video. (Stevenson’s television endorsement can be seen at the 5 minute, 50 second mark.)

Video: 1955 Democratic Party Campaign Ads for Television. RJD_04_02_0000_0000_201

Daley won the election. Here is Stevenson looking on as Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz swears the new mayor in.

Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz swears Richard J. Daley in as mayor for the first time

Judge Abraham Lincoln Marovitz swears Richard J. Daley in as mayor for the first time, April 20, 1955. Adlai Stevenson, Martin Kennelly, and others observe. Photo: Photo Ideas. RJD_04_01_0013_0001_029

Stevenson’s son, Adlai E. Stevenson III, was also a close associate of Daley, serving as a state legislator, state treasurer and from 1970 to 1981, representing Illinois in the United States Senate. Stevenson III contributed to the Richard J. Daley Oral History Collection, offering an interview in which he reflects on his father’s and his own relationship with the mayor. Read a transcript of his interview [PDF document] and transcripts of interviews conducted with the other contributors to the project.