Mr. Adams was employed by Mobil Oil for twenty-eight years, serving in a variety of senior planning and international management positions in various countries, including the presidency of major Mobil affiliates in Italy and Japan as well as the presidency of Mobil South, Inc. In his career, Mr. Adams received the Order of Merit from Italy and both the Third Order of the Sacred Treasure and Third Order of the Rising Sun from Japan. While in Japan he also served as chairman of the US-Japan Trade Study Group and was vice-president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan.
A native of Boston, Massachusetts, Mr. Adams graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, and received a bachelor's degree in Physics from Harvard College, before going on to attain a law degree from Harvard Law School. He served in the Parachute Infantry of the U.S. Army as a First Lieutenant in World War II and the Korean War. He was awarded the Bronze Star medal.
He spent a year at the French Institut d'Etudes Politiques as a Fulbright Scholar and was an attorney with the law firm of Davis, Polk, Wardwell, Sunderland and Kiendl from 1950 to 1956, when he joined Mobil. Following his retirement from Mobil in 1985 he was visiting professor and Executive-in-Residence at the Columbia University School of Business until 1993.
As a full time, unpaid volunteer, Mr. Adams was best known in recent years for this outstanding contributions to the chess world, where he served on the governing board of the U.S. Chess Federation. He is credited with playing a major role in the reformation of the Federation and in helping to manage a dramatic turnaround in that organization's finances, taking it from near bankruptcy to full solvency. For the last decade, Mr. Adams has served as an officer and director of the Manhattan Chess Club.
Since 1990 he has served as President of the American Chess Foundation, which changed its name in 1996 to Chess-in-the-Schools to reflect its major activity. Chess-in-the-Schools, currently serving 160 schools in New York City, has successfully entered teams in national and international competitions. The New York program has been replicated in 17 other cities throughout the U.S.
Mr. Adams was a direct descendant of a brother President John Adams. He was also a direct descendant of Samuel Adams and Peter Faneuil who built Faneuil Hall in Boston. His grandmother was Rebecca Ames descended from Fisher Ames, a friend and colleague of George Washington.
Mr. Adams is survived by his wife Emiko, and by two daughters, Rebecca of Hicksville, NY and Susannah of Branford, CT. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be sent to Chess-in-the-Schools at 353 West 46th Street, NY 10036.
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