Director of the U.S. Mint (1961-1969)

Date of Birth: September 10, 1908
Date of Death: August 23, 1991
Place of Birth: Wonder, Nevada
Arrival in Las Vegas: 1928
Work/Contribution: Assistant to Senator McCarran, lawyer, Director of the U.S. Mint (1961-1969)
Eva B. Adams, a native Nevadan, brought great pride to her home state through her active and fruitful public careers. Adams’ devotion to education is evident in the five degrees she earned from prestigious universities in Nevada and Washington, D.C. Along with her career in education, Adams worked in administrative positions for three senators and was appointed Director of the U.S. Mint by presidents Kennedy and Johnson.

Adams was born in Wonder, Nevada in 1908. After high school she earned her first degree from the University of Nevada, Reno. In 1928, at the age of nineteen, she moved to southern Nevada to teach at Las Vegas High School. Adams’ experience there urged her to continue her education. She next attended Columbia University where she earned her first Master’s Degree. Adams returned to Las Vegas to serve as the Assistant Dean of Women at her first Alma Mater, the University of Nevada, Reno.

In 1940, Adams’ career shifted when she accepted a position with Senator Pat McCarran as his Administrative Assistant and moved to Washington, D.C. While there, she earned her law degree from Washington College of Law and her second Master’s at George Washington University. She later served as Administrative Assistant to Senators Ernest Brown and Alan Bible. Adams’ hard work and dedication in Capital Hill earned her an appointment by President John F. Kennedy as Director of the U.S. Mint in 1961. She is the second woman in history to receive this honor. She received a reappointment in 1966 from President Lyndon B. Johnson due to her extraordinary achievements at the U.S. Mint.

Adams retired from the government in 1969 and went on to serve as a consultant to the Chairman of the Board for the Mutual of Omaha insurance company. Although she retired, Adams remained active in the affairs of Washington, D.C. through her participation with the U.S. Senate Association of Administrative Assistants and Executive Secretaries. She was also a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellows. Adams received numerous awards and honors for her outstanding achievements both in government and within the community service sector. These awards have come from the U.S. Treasury Department, educational institutions, and private organizations. Eva B. Adams died in Reno, Nevada, on August 23, 1991.

For further biographical information: “Eva Adams.” 1999. The first 100: Portraits of the Men and Women who Shaped Las Vegas. Edited by A.D. Hopkins and K.J. Evans. Huntington Press. Pp. 139-140.