Mother: Annie (Hannaway) Adams, mill worker
Marriage: Colette (McArdle) Adams (1971-present)
Sinn Fein means "we ourselves."
Has written more than 10 books.
Early 1960s - Joins Sinn Fein, which supports the reunion of British-ruled Northern Ireland with the rest of Ireland.
1972 - Suspected of being an Irish Republican Army leader, Adams is interned without trial.
July 1972 - Is released to participate in secret peace talks with the British government.
1973-1977 - After peace talks fail, Adams is imprisoned again.
1978 - Elected vice president of Sinn Fein.
1983 - Elected president of Sinn Fein.
Is the elected representative for West Belfast in the British House of Commons. Following Sinn Fein policy, Adams never takes his seat in order to avoid taking the obligatory oath of loyalty to the Queen of England.
1984 - Is shot and seriously wounded during an assassination attempt.
1988 - Begins talks with John Hume, the leader of Northern Ireland's Social Democratic and Labour Party.
1993 - Adams and Hume issue a statement suggesting ways to peacefully settle the conflict in Northern Ireland.
1994 - Is granted his first U.S. visa.
June 1998 - Is elected to the new Northern Ireland Assembly.
May 19, 2015 -
Meets Prince Charles.
This is the first meeting between a member of the British Royal Family and the leader of Sinn Fein.
May 22, 2015 -
Calls the election results making Ireland the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage through popular vote, "a huge day for equality."
March 16, 2016 -
The Secret Service apologizes for denying Adams entry to a White House
reception, blaming the mix-up on an administrative error. Adams was invited to attend St. Patrick's Day celebrations on March 15, but when he arrived he says staff informed him that there was an issue of security.