Charles Francis Adams IV

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Charles Francis Adams IV
BornMay 2, 1910
DiedJanuary 5, 1999(1999-01-05) (aged 88)
Alma materHarvard University
Known forPresident of Raytheon; 1948–1960, 1962–1964
Margaret Stockton Adams
  • Beatrice D. Penati
ParentCharles Francis Adams III
RelativesAdams political family
Military career
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service1932–1946
Commands heldUSS William Seiverling
Battles/warsWorld War II

Charles Francis Adams IV (May 2, 1910 – January 5, 1999)[1] was an American electronics industrialist, United States Naval officer, great-great grandson of the sixth President John Quincy Adams and great-great-great-grandson of the second President John Adams.

Early life[edit]

Charles Francis Adams IV was born on May 2, 1910, in Boston, Massachusetts, to United States Secretary of the Navy Charles Francis Adams III (1866–1954), thus a great-great-great-grandson of U.S. President John Adams and great-great-grandson of his son John Quincy Adams. He attended St. Mark's School, graduated from Harvard College in 1932 and attended Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. Adams was a sixth-generation Harvard legacy student (John Adams graduated from Harvard in 1755).


Adams was commissioned as an ensign in the Naval Reserve on 23 June 1932 and was promoted to lieutenant (junior grade) on 23 June 1937. He served on active duty during World War II. Adams was promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander on 1 May 1943 and to commander on 1 March 1944. He took command of the destroyer escort USS William Seiverling when she was commissioned on 1 June 1944. The Seiverling conducted anti-submarine operations in the Pacific Theater, was under air attack off Okinawa and supported the liberation of the Philippines. He left the service in 1946.

He served as the first president of the Raytheon Company between 1948 and 1960, and again from 1962 to 1964. He served as its chairman between 1960 and 1962, and again from 1964 until 1972. During his tenure, Raytheon grew from a manufacturer of transistors and vacuum tubes into a maker of missiles and military-oriented radar and communications systems.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Adams married twice. His first marriage was to Margaret Stockton by whom he had three children: Abigail, Alison, and Timothy. His second marriage was to Beatrice D. Penati by whom he had one stepson: Giannotto Penati. He had a total of nine grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren at the time of his death,[3] on January 5, 1999, in Dover, Massachusetts, aged 88.[4]

Adams was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1959.[5] He was awarded honorary degrees by Suffolk University, Northeastern University, Bates College, and Tufts University.

Family tree[edit]

He was first cousin to Constance Crowninshield Coolidge.


  1. ^ "Deaths Elsewhere". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 1999-01-07.
  2. ^ "Charles Francis Adams, 88, Former Chairman of Raytheon". The New York Times. 1999-01-09. Retrieved 2019-03-31.
  3. ^ "Biography" (PDF). Raytheon. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-15. Retrieved 2010-12-05.
  4. ^ "Charles Francis Adams, 88, Former Chairman of Raytheon". The New York Times. January 9, 1999. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 23, 2020.
  5. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 1 April 2011.