Kerney M. Adams was born in Salyersville, Magoffin County, Kentucky, on January 9, 1899, the son of Green and Alafare Littrol Adams. A graduate of the University of Kentucky and Cornell University, he became a professor of history at Eastern Kentucky University in 1928. During his tenure as a teacher, he published a number of articles in leading scholarly journals. He launched the teaching program on the History of Western Civilization and his Introduction of the Ideological Foundations of Western Civilization while at Eastern. He retired in 1969. He died January 31, 1989, and is buried in Berea, Kentucky.