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James Stevenson


(Baron Stevenson of Holmbury)

1873 - 1926

Businessman and civil servant. Brought up in Kilmarnock and educated at the Academy there, Stevenson joined the Johnnie Walker whisky blending company (1888), working his way up to become its joint Managing Director. He is credited with having come up with the company's advertising slogan 'Born in 1820 - still going strong'.

During the First World War he was appointed to a senior position in the Ministry of Munitions and in return for his service was created a Baronet in 1917. After the war he continued in government service and chaired the Standing Committee responsible for the British Empire Exhibition (1924-5). Wembley Stadium (in London) had been built as a temporary home for the exhibition, but Stevenson fought successfully to prevent its demolition and it continued as a national stadium into the 21st Century.

Stevenson was elevated to a peerage as Baron Stevenson of Holmbury in 1924.


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