Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965) ran against Eisenhower for president as the Democratic candidate in both 1952 and 1956. The relatively young Illinois governor offered a clear alternative to Ike. Eisenhower was a moderate conservative, Stevenson a moderate liberal. Eisenhower was a man of common tastes; Stevenson was an intellectual. Eisenhower was not a great orator; Stevenson was an eloquent speaker. Many voters thought Stevenson was too aristocratic and out of touch with the concerns of ordinary people.
Defeated by Eisenhower in the 1952 presidential election, Stevenson chose to run against his rival once again four years later. However, Eisenhower's strong economic record and tremendous popularity were too much to overcome. Always a respected authority on international affairs, Stevenson later served as a United Nations ambassador under President John F. Kennedy. He became famous for his forceful confrontation with the Soviet representative to the UN Security Council during the tense Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.