James S. Adams


Honorary Degree (1959)
Doctor of Laws
Medical Science Building Dedication
Location: Indianapolis
Presenter: Herman B Wells
Honorary Degree (1942)
Master of Laws
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: Herman B Wells


James Seybold Adams was born in Brazil, Indiana in 1897. He was an IU graduate and longtime resident of New York City. He is best known as a business magnate and philanthropist.

From 1948 until his retirement in 1975, he served as a partner in the investment firm of Lazard Freres & Company. Having a keen interest in medical research, he was instrumental in establishing the American Cancer Society in 1944. After its inception, he served the society for more than a decade as chairman and executive committee member.

He was the first American recipient of the Helen Keller International Award in 1973 for his promotion of medical research in the prevention of blindness. Indiana University bestowed on him two honorary degrees, a Master of Laws in 1942, and a Doctor of Laws in 1959.