Paul L. Adams was born brought up on a small farm in central Kentucky and entered Centre College at the age of 15 on a full scholarship. At the age of 18, he graduated as class president and class valedictorian. He served as a conscientious objector during World War II and after a tour of duty as a freedom rider, breaking Jim Crow Laws in Kentucky in 1945, he completed his first doctorate at Columbia University. Having been the first white student at Fisk University in Nashville, TN, Adams entered into the Young People's Socialist League and the nonviolent civil rights struggle with a natural and enlarging enthusiasm. He taught at Bennett College and North Carolina College, which is now North Carolina Central University. Before and after entering medical school to become a child psychiatrist, his life had been spent in academic child adolescent psychiatry. Paul continued to teach at the University of Tennessee, Memphis (TN), the University of Maryland, Baltimore (MD) and at the Kentucky Psychoanalytic Institute. He served as a member of the American College of Psychiatrists, American Orthopsychiatric Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, American Academy of Psychoanalysis, Society of Modern Psychoanalysts and Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry. He was active in private practice and community affairs, especially those involving human rights, including those of children. He also completed a book about diverse motivational theories of psychologists.