The Stevenson family has played a leading role in Illinois politics for four generations. Born to Presbyterian parents who had emigrated from Northern Ireland, the familys patriarch was Adlai E. Stevenson (1835-1914). The first Adlai E. Stevenson served as vice president under Grover Cleveland from 1893 to 1897. His son, Lewis G. Stevenson, served as Illinois Secretary of State from 1914 to 1917. Lewis Stevenson's son, Adlai E. Stevenson II , was governor of Illinois and the Democratic candidate for president in both 1952 and 1956. His son, Adlai E. Stevenson III, served as United States senator for Illinois from 1970 to 1981.