Eddie Adams, Jr. is the embodiment of the “American Dream.” While Eddie’s family may not have been rich financially, they were rich with love, happiness, and a positive outlook on life. One of the first role models in Eddie’s life was his grandfather, Jack Howell, a Baptist preacher. Among his many talents, Jack Howell had a green thumb and a very simple view of life: remember what’s important, “God and Family.” He passed on this belief to Eddie, along with his green thumb.
Being the oldest of five children, Eddie was six years old when his parents, Eddie Adams, Senior and Rosa Lee Adams, separated. When Eddie was eight years old, his youngest brother was born with congenital clubfeet, a deformity of both feet that was present at birth. Treatments began shortly after his birth to help overcome some of the problems associated with the condition. The treatments included many surgeries, castings, and years of manipulation and stretching of the heel cord. Eddie learned to help with his brother’s exercises and became responsible at an early age for assisting his mother with his brother’s treatment.
As the oldest child, Eddie became the family’s surrogate father taking care of his siblings while his mother often worked two jobs to meet the financial needs of the family. With the help of his mother and grandmother, he learned cooking, cleaning, sewing, ironing and all the other household chores of a big family. At the age of ten, Eddie got his first paying job as a fruit picker on the weekends, but, Eddie’s pay didn’t go to buy candy, baseball cards, and comic books. His income helped his mother meet the financial needs of the family. Eddie also used the money to buy many of his own school clothes and school supplies
Eddie played drums in the school band from sixth grade until graduation. He was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, and at the age of twelve he made the rank of Life Scout and was a member of the Order of the Arrow. While in high school, Eddie earned two letters in track and field, three letters in football, and three in band. He was one of only two players on the Lake Wales High School football team to make All-Conference his senior year
From 1971 until 1976, Eddie was a student at the University of South Florida. He graduated as the first African-American to receive a degree in Microbiology. While at USF Eddie was a member of the Afro-American Gospel Choir, president of the Black Pan-Hellenic Council, president of Theta Gamma Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and president of the Black Student Union. He was a member of the USF Student Budget Finance Committee, the USF Student Government Activities Committee and the Minority Pre-Med Society. While a student, Eddie worked as a laboratory assistant for USF and for the Hillsborough County Health Department.
Beginning in 1977 until 1996, Eddie worked at Tampa General Hospital (TGH) as a Cardio-Pulmonary Laboratory Technologist. While at Tampa General Hospital, Eddie was one of the founding members of the Ad Hoc Employees’ Civil Service Committee which evolved into the Employee Advisory Committee, on which he served for many years. He was also the co-founder and organizer of the Black History Week Celebration at TGH which later evolved into Multicultural Week.
In 1995, Eddie graduated from the FAMU/USF Cooperative School of Architecture and Design with a Masters of Architecture Degree.
From 1996 until 2002, Eddie worked for the architectural firm of Rosier/Jones Associates, Inc. Architects and Planners in downtown St. Petersburg. Eddie was project architect for some of the firm’s most significant projects. From 2002 until present, Eddie has worked with The Rosier Alliance Inc. Tampa office and started his own business Adams & Associates Residential Design. The business provides design services for new homes, home additions, and home renovations. Eddie is a past member of the Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce, the Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club, Tampa Toastmasters 1810, the Board of Directors of Central City YMCA and School Board member for King’s Kids Academy.
Eddie’s heroes are people who have played a very important and influential role in his life. One of his biggest heroines has always been his mother, from whom he has received many of his personal beliefs and understandings of life, and strong work-ethic.
Since he was a young boy, Eddie’s personal philosophy has been to work hard, do the right thing, and life will always work itself out.
Eddie has been married to the love of his life, Sylvia, for nineteen years. He has a son Joseph and a daughter Ashley. Eddie and Sylvia are members of the First Institutional Baptist Church. His hobbies include playing golf, painting, and SCUBA diving.