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James B. Adams
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

In office
February 15, 1978 – February 23, 1978
President Jimmy Carter
Preceded by Clarence M. Kelley
Succeeded by William H. Webster
Personal details
Born James Blackburn Adams
December 21, 1926(1926-12-21) (age 96)
Corsicana, Texas, U.S.
Political party Republican

James Blackburn Adams (born December 21, 1926) is a former attorney, Texas legislator, and acting director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Early life

James B. Adams was born in Corsicana, Texas in 1926. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II and returned to Texas to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University and a law degree from Baylor Law School. He then became a prosecuting attorney and legislator in Texas, resigning his seat in the Texas House of Representatives having served as a Democrat, to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation on July 9, 1951 as a Special Agent.[1]

Adams served in Seattle, San Francisco, and the Administrative Services Division. In 1959, he was appointed Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Minneapolis and in 1972 he was promoted to Special Agent in Charge of San Antonio, Texas. In 1973, he was appointed Assistant Director of the Office of Planning and Evaluation and became Assistant to the Director/Deputy Associate Director for Investigations the following year.[2]


In early 1977 FBI director Clarence M. Kelley announced his intention to retire and on September 30, 1977 President Jimmy Carter nominated Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama to the post. However Johnson developed severe health problems and Carter withdrew the nomination in December. Eventually Carter settled upon William H. Webster and nominated him in January 1978. Adams served as Acting Director of the FBI from Kelley's retirement on February 15, 1978 to February 23 of the same year, when Webster was sworn in. Adams was then appointed to the number two position in the FBI, Associate Director, on April 6, 1978, retiring from the FBI on May 11, 1979. He then returned to Texas where he served in various law enforcement related positions until 1987.[3]


In January 2007, James Blackburn Adams received the Baylor Distinguished Alumni Award.[4]


Government offices
Preceded by
Clarence M. Kelley
Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Succeeded by
William H. Webster

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