Bud Adams Net Worth & Biography



Popular Name: Bud Adams
Real Name: Kenneth Stanley “Bud” Adams, Jr.
Birth Date: January 3, 1923
Birth Place: Bartlesville, Oklahoma, United States
Age: Died on October 21, 2013 (aged 90)
Gender: Male
Nationality/Citizenship: American
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Sexuality: Straight
Marital Status: Married
Spouse(s): Nancy Neville Adams
Children: 3
Profession: Businessman, Entrepreneur, Investor
Years active: N/A
Net Worth: $1 Billion

American businessman and former Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams, who helped institute the American Football League and whose contribution helped lead to the merger with the National Football League, passed away in 2013 when he was 90.

The son of a prominent oil executive, Adams built his own energy empire and founded the Houston Oilers. He moved the franchise to Tennessee in 1997 when he could not get a new one in Houston. In 2000, the team renamed the Titans, reached the Super Bowl that its owner had spent more than thirty years pursuing. His 409 wins were the highest of any current NFL owner. His franchise made the playoffs 21 times in 53 seasons, 8th among NFL teams since 1960.

Adams quietly became one of the wealthiest oilmen in the United States as his ADA Oil Company evolved into the publicly traded Fortune 500 company, Adams Resources & Energy Inc., based in Houston. His business interests included ranching and farming in California and Texas, cattle feeding, automobile sales, and real estate. He also was a major collector of Indian artifacts and western art, and maintained a private gallery at his business headquarters. More details follow below.

Early Life: Childhood, Family, Education

He was born Kenneth Stanley Adams Jr. born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, on January 3, 1923, to Kenneth Stanley Adams and Blanch Keeler Adams. His father succeeded the owner Frank Phillips as the president of Phillips Petroleum Company in 1939.

Adams attended Culver Military Academy and graduated in 1940 after lettering in three sports. He had a brief stint at Menlo College before transferring to the University of Kansas where he played on the varsity football team briefly as he completed an engineering degree.

Professional Life: Entrepreneurial Career & Business Endeavors

The American businessman was best known for being the founder and owner of the National Football League franchise Tennessee Titans. A member of the Cherokee Nation who made his fortune originally in the petroleum business, Adams was the chairman and chief executive officer of Adams Resources & Energy Inc., a general supplier of oil and natural gas.

During the Second World War, he served in the US Navy in the Pacific Theater of operations and attained the rank of Lieutenant (Junior Grade). After the war, he returned to the University of Kansas for additional studies. He was discharged in 1946 and decided to settle in Houston, Texas.

In 1947, Adams launched a wildcatting company, ADA Oil Company that eventually expanded into Adams Resources & Energy. The company owned a basketball team that was an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) powerhouse.

Bud Adams Net Worth

Former Houston/Tennessee Oilers/Titans Founder/Owner, Bud Adams

He showed an interest in purchasing a team in the National Football League starting in 1959 when he attempted to buy the Chicago Cardinals for the purpose of relocating the team to his native Houston. After this attempt failed, he partnered with fellow oil industry tycoon Lamar Hunt to institute their very own football league. That league eventually became known as the American Football League, which, as of today, is part of the National Football League.

Adams was the owner of the Tennessee Titans, which he moved to Tennessee as the Tennessee Oilers, which he bought in Houston.

One of the original owners and founders of the American Football League, Kenneth Adams Jnr. was the owner of several football clubs throughout the years of his career. He owned teams like the Nashville Kats, the Houston Mavericks, the Houston Oilers, and the Tennessee Oilers before he took over as the owner of the Tennessee Titans in the year 1999.

Aside from football, Mr. Adams also held other businesses in the Houston area. Actually, he had initially made his fortune in the petroleum business as the chief executive officer and chairman of the oil and natural gas provider Adams Resources & Energy Inc. Furthermore, he also owned countless Lincoln-Mercury automobile franchises.

Personal Life: Wife, Children, Private Interests

Adams lived as an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation and had served as a member of the Cherokee National Historical Society’s executive committee. He was also a member of River Oaks Baptist Church in Houston, Texas.

He was married to his wife Nancy Neville Adams for 62 years until her passing in February 2009 at the age of 84. They had a son, Kenneth S. Adams III, and two daughters, Susan and Amy. Their son died in June 1987 from an apparent suicide at the age of 29.


In 2013 when he was 90 years old, the prominent businessman died of natural causes at his home in Houston. His body was found in his River Oaks residence after police were called for a welfare check.

Bud Adams Net Worth: Salary, Income Sources, Assets

Nothing was ever said about the salary or stock holdings of the American businessman during his time alive. However, available reports at the time of his passing showed that Bud Adams’ net worth was more than $1 billion as the owner of the National Football League team The Tennessee Titans. How did he accumulate this fortune? His wealth was initially made in the oil business which paid him millions of dollars as the chief executive officer and chairman of the oil and natural gas provider Adams Resources & Energy Inc.

Ownership of the Tennessee Titans is now controlled by a conglomerate of the children and grandchildren of the late billionaire (under the banner of KSA Industries), comprising of his daughter Amy Strunk, grandsons Barclay Adams and Kenneth S. Adams IV, and their mother Susan Lewis. In 2020, Susie Smith sold her ownership in the Titans. Amy owns one-half, with the other half split equally by Susan and her two children.

Until his death in October 2013, Kenneth Adams, Jr. remained active in all aspects of his life, and carefully managed his businesses while taking care of his family. His legacy as one of the major contributors to the NFL will definitely survive for many more generations to come.

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