Adam Clayton Powell was born and raised in Santurce, Puerto Rico. He comes from a long legacy of public service and civil rights. His mother, Yvette Diago, is the granddaughter of Gonzalo Diago who was Mayor of San Juan in the 1940s. Adam’s father, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., was the legendary Congressman who represented Harlem from 1944 thru 1970. As the scion of distinguished and notable political families, Adam is naturally committed to public service and throughout his life has shown a determination to help those most in need.
After graduating high school from Academia Sagrado Corazón in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Adam moved to the mainland and graduated from Howard University in 1984 and Fordham Law School in 1988. Upon graduating from Fordham he was appointed as an Assistant District Attorney from Bronx County where he worked with District Attorneys Paul Gentile and then Robert Johnson. In 1991, Adam was elected to the New York City Council to represent East Harlem, and parts of the Upper West Side and South Bronx. He helped raise the standard of education by building state-of-the-art computer labs in every public school building within his Council district. He served in the City Council until 1997 and through his efforts to bring the Magic Johnson Theatres to Harlem and other parts of the city, he helped to create job opportunities and economic development.
Adam brought Magic Johnson Theatres to Harlem.
Adam then employed his organizational skills and leadership abilities for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) helping to bring order and hope to communities decimated by natural disasters. In 1998, he went to Puerto Rico with FEMA and spent four months there helping the victims of Hurricane Georges.
In 2000, Adam was elected to the NY State Assembly to represent East Harlem and other parts of the Harlem area. For 10 years he brought to the Assembly a progressive voice who would not compromise his beliefs on behalf of the people of this State. During his tenure in the Assembly, he also served as the Chairman of the Angelo Del Toro Puerto Rican/Hispanic Youth Leadership Institute which brings over 150 high school students from across the State for a three-day conference which ends with a mock session in the Assembly chamber and a scholarship dinner.
Adam was a host for Radio WADO 1280 AM and Godfather of the New York Puerto Rican Day Parade.
As a dedicated public servant, Adam has been on the front lines of many battles for human rights and against police brutality and corruption. In 2001, he protested the Navy’s occupation and unnecessary bombing exercises in Vieques and went to jail for 16 days to defend the principles of human rights for the people of that island. Soon afterwards, the US Navy left Vieques after more than 60 years of occupying over 65% of the island.
Adam has also worked as a radio talk-show host. First, in 2002 with Radio WADO 1280 AM and, most recently, with WPAT 930 AM. He also co-produced with Showtime the movie “Keep The Faith, Baby” the first motion picture ever about his legendary father. Currently, Adam is a Consultant helping businesses grow and create jobs. Adam is an activist, visionary, and respected leader. He resides in East Harlem and is the proud father of a 25-year-old son.