Adams was found dead and alone in his home during a welfare check at about 2 p.m., Jerry Brewer, a public information officer with the sheriff’s department, told CNN. The investigation into his death is ongoing, Brewer said.
Adams’ death comes less than a month after the university announced that he would retire following campus uproar over his tweets.
Adams, a former professor of criminology at UNCW, and author of “Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts ‘Womyn’ on Campus,” was set to retire August 1, Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli said in a statement posted on the university’s website.
“Over the past several weeks, many of you have inquired about the status of a UNCW faculty member, Dr. Mike Adams, in light of the public attention generated by comments he made on his personal social media channels,” Sartarelli said. “We can now share the update that after a discussion with Chancellor Sartarelli, Dr. Adams has decided to retire from UNCW, effective August 1, 2020.”
Adams became a lightning rod for controversy in Wilmington in late May.
“This evening I ate pizza and drank beer with six guys at a six seat table top. I almost felt like a free man who was not living in the slave state of North Carolina. Massa Cooper, let my people go!” he tweeted on May 29.
Roy Cooper is North Carolina’s Democratic governor.
Adams’ tweet was sent a week after the state moved into phase two of reopening and a few days after protests erupted over George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
Another tweet from Adams, on May 28, read: “Don’t shut down the universities. Shut down the non essential majors. Like Women’s Studies.”
In a statement to CNN on June 6, UNCW called Adams’ messages “vile and inexcusable.”
“We are listening to the outrage being expressed regarding the vile and inexcusable comments made by a UNCW faculty member,” the university said in the statement. “However, we are not just listening; we can confirm we are very carefully and assertively reviewing our options in terms of how to proceed. We are not able to comment further at this time, as this is a personnel matter.”
Adams’ tweets became the focal point of two Change.org petitions calling for his removal.