CHINADebate Blog Contributor
Former US Senator and Chairman of SC&M Investment Management Company.
Stevenson is a Marine Corps veteran of the Korean war, former Clerk to a Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and former Partner in the law firm of Mayer, Brown. He served in the Illinois House of Representatives 1965-67, winning a Best Legislator award from the Independent Voters of Illinois, and as Illinois State Treasurer, 1967-70, where he quadrupled earnings on the investment of State funds while cutting the budget each year. In 1970, he was elected to the unexpired balance of deceased Senator Everett Dirksen’s term in the U.S. Senate and was reelected in 1974, both times by record breaking margins. He retired from the Senate in 1981. He was the Democratic candidate for Governor of Illinois in 1982 and 1986.
In the Senate Stevenson served on the Commerce Committee (Chairman of the Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space), Banking Committee (Chairman of the Subcommittee on International Finance) and Intelligence Committee (Chairman, Subcommittee on the Collection and Production of Intelligence). He served as the first Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee and Chairman of a Special Committee which led the first reorganization of the Senate since its Committee system was formed in the early 19th Century. He also served as the most junior member of the Senate Majority’s Policy Committee.
In the Senate, Stevenson co-authored the energy legislation of the mid 1970′s, including legislation to establish the Department of Energy, fuel efficiency standards, emergency natural gas pricing and projects for development of alternative energy sources. He authored the Stevenson Wydler Technology Innovation Act and companion Bayh Dole Act which spurred the cooperative research and the technological innovation which followed. He authored the International Banking Act and conducted the first Congressional in depth studies of terrorism, introducing the Comprehensive Anti-Terrorism Act of 1979 with predictions of spectacular acts of destruction and disruption and an international terrorist scene.
An attempt to distance the US from the settlements policy of the new Likkud government of Israel led to his defeat in the 1982 election for Governor of Illinois. Though the election was virtually tied and evidence of widespread election irregularities, including a failed punch card system for recording votes, was presented to the Illinois Supreme Court, it denied his request for a recount by one vote. He was renominated by the Democratic Party for Governor in 1986, but candidates of the LaRouche cult were nominated for Lt. Governor and Secretary of State, forcing him to resign the nomination and run as a third Party candidate. He won 40% of the vote, thus ending his active political career.
Since living in London in 1945-6 where he attended Harrow School, Stevenson has traveled, worked and served in many capacities in more than 80 countries. His private sector career has focused on international matters, especially international finance and East Asia. He organized the HuaMei Capital Company, the first Sino US financial intermediary and remains a director. He is a past President of the US Committee of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council, former Co-Chairman of the East Asia Financial Markets Development Project, former President and Chairman of the Japan America Society of Chicago, former Chairman of the Midwest US Japan Association, a Member of the US-Korea Wisemen Council, Member of the Advisory Board of the Korea Economic Institute, Member of the US Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific and Chairman of the Midwest US China Association. He Chairs the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy and serves on the boards of other civic and business organizations.
Stevenson is the author of The Black Book which records American politics and history as his family knew it over five generation. Starting with Abraham Lincoln in central Illinois, it ends in China with an Epilogue on the life cycle of nations and empires. He seeks to recall the values which created his country and draw lessons for the future. Stevenson has lectured widely, authored numerous articles and is the recipient of many honors, including Japan’s Order of the Sacred Treasure with Gold and Silver Star. He is an Honorary Professor of Renmin University, Beijing, PRC.
Stevenson manages a farm near Galena, Illinois and maintains an office and home in Chicago. He is a graduate of Harvard College, ’52 and Harvard Law School, ’57. He and his wife, Nancy, have two sons, two daughters and five grandchildren.