In 1949, Stevenson was elected governor of Illinois on the Democratic ticket. He won a lot of respect from my grandmother when he struck down a bill that proposed a leash law for cats, saying "It is not in the nature of cats to be leashed."

In 1952 and 1956, he ran an eloquent campaign for President against war hero Dwight D. Eisenhower, a losing proposition no matter how you sliced it. When told by a reporter that he had the vote of every thinking man in America, his response was classic: "Yes, but I need a majority to win." This statement did not win him many votes.

In 1960, he lost the Democratic ticket to JFK who appointed him Ambassador to the United Nations, where he stayed until his death in 1965.