A scion of the Adams family that gave the country two presidents, Charles Francis III was born in Quincy, Massachusetts to John Quincy Adams II (1833–1894); the oldest son of the Secretary's grandfather Charles Francis Adams, Sr.; his great-grandfather was sixth U. S. President John Quincy Adams; and his great-great-grandfather was second U. S. President John Adams. He was also the great-grandson of U. S. Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Williams Crowninshield; Fanny Cadwalader Crowninshield's grandfather.
Adams graduated cum laude from Harvard College (1888) and from Harvard Law School (1892). He was first a lawyer, then went into business. He married Frances Lovering, the daughter of U.S. Representative William C. Lovering, in 1899. They had one son, Charles, and one daughter, Catherine (both noted below).
Adams served as Mayor of Quincy, Massachusetts from 1896 to 1897. Chas. F. Adams, III is the third cousin twice removed of Otis Norcross, 19th Mayor of Boston. Both descending from their fourth great grandfather, Joseph Adams; Otis from his first wife Mary Chapin, and Charles from his second wife Hannah Bass.
In 1920, he skippered the America's Cup defender Resolute and soon became known as the "Dean of American Helmsmen". He was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame (1993).
The Charles Francis Adams Memorial Trophy for yacht racing was established in his memory, and the Navy destroyer USS Charles F. Adams was dedicated in his honor.
As Secretary of the Navy, (1929–1933), he vigorously promoted public understanding of the Navy's indispensable role in international affairs, and worked strenuously to maintain naval strength and efficiency during a period of severe economic depression. He served at the London Naval Conference in 1930 where he successfully maintained the principle of United States naval parity with Britain. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1932. He died in 1954 and is interred in Mount Wollaston Cemetery in Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts next to his father, John Quincy Adams II, and his grandfather, Charles Francis Adams, Sr.
Marriage and Family
Charles Francis Adams, Jr. (1835–1915) was the uncle, not the father of Charles Francis Adams III, an assumption regularly made by virtue of sequential name succession. Charles F. Adams, Jr. had five children, the first three being daughters, which may explain why his brother John Q. Adams II took the prerogative to name his son after their uncle. Charles, Jr.'s only sons (twins) were born in 1875.
- Adams, Catherine Lovering (1902-1988) (daughter of Charles F III) married Henry Stugis Morgan, who was an American banker. He was the son of John Pierpont ("Jack") Morgan Jr. and the grandson of renowned banker John Pierpont Morgan, Sr., founder of J.P. Morgan & Co..
- Adams, Charles F. IV (1910-1999) (Son of Charles F III) was a U.S. electronics industrialist. He served as the first president of the Raytheon Company.
|Offspring of Charles Francis Adams III and Frances Lovering (1869-1956)|
|Catherine Lovering Adams (1902-1988)||13 January 1902 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts||28 September 1988 Mill Neck, Nassau County, New York|| Henry Sturgis Morgan (1900-1982)|
|Charles Frances Adams (1910-1999)||2 May 1910 Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States||5 January 1999 Dover, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States|| Margaret Stockton (1915-1972)|
|Offspring of John Quincy Adams and Fanny Crowninshield (1839-1911)|
|John Quincy Adams (1862-1876)|| |
|George Caspar Adams (1863-1900)||24 April 1863 Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States||13 July 1900 Quincy, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States|| |
|Charles Francis Adams (1866-1954)||2 August 1866||10 June 1954|| Frances Lovering (1869-1956)|
|Fanny Cadwallader Adams (c1867-?)|| |
|Fanny Crowninshield Adams (1873-1876)|| |
|Arthur Adams (1877-1943)||20 May 1877 Milton, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States||May 1943|| Margery Lee (1894-1986)|
|Abigail Adams (1879-1974)|
Charles is a direct descendant of the following:
- John Adams Immigrant Ancestors - US President John Adams (1735-1826) and descendant of early immigrant ancestors to Plymouth Colony. Part of the Adams political family of Boston Brahmin fame with direct connections to many highly notable relatives.
- Nathaniel Gorham (1738-1796)/immigrant ancestors - delegate to the Continental Congress, signer of the US Constitution, and a descendant of several early Mayflower pilgrims.