His grandfather, Adlai Stevenson I, was Vice-President of the U.S. from 1893-1897 and Congressman from 1879-1881. His son, Adlai Stevenson III, was U.S. Senator from Illinois from 1970-1981 and ran unsuccessfully for the Governorship of Illinois in 1982 and 1986.
Adlai Stevenson II refused to actively campaign for the Democratic nomination in 1960, but was hoping to be drafted at the convention. However, John F. Kennedy had the votes needed to be nominated. After winning the Presidency, Kennedy made Stevenson his Ambassador to the United Nations, a post that he held from 1961-1965. It is for his service in this post that Stevenson will be best remembered. During the Cuban Missle Crisis, on October 25, 1962, there was an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council. Stevenson asked the Soviet Ambassador if his country had missles in Cuba. After a long period of silence, Stevenson delivered the most famous line of his entire career," I am prepared to wait for my answer until Hell freezes over".