John Charles McAdams was born in Kennedy, Alabama, on 26th October, 1945. McAdams gained an undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama and a masters from Teachers College, Columbia University. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 1981. (1)
McAdams eventually became Associate Professor of Marquette University and taught classes in American Politics, Public Opinion, and Voter Behavior. McAdams' research interests included Congressional elections, social class and politics, the New Class and the death penalty. Publications include articles in various journals including American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, Sociological Quarterly and Law and Contemporary Problems. (2)
McAdams became an authority on the assassination of John F. Kennedy and was the author of the website, The Kennedy Assassination and the blog Marquette Warrior. This made him many enemies. Michael T. Griffith argued: " John McAdams is a university professor who believes strongly that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, shot President Kennedy. McAdams doesn't believe a conspiracy of any kind was involved. McAdams believes the Warren Commission (WC) was correct in all its essential conclusions. In McAdams' opinion, anyone who defends the conspiracy position is a 'conspiracy buff'... McAdams' attitude toward virtually anyone who disagrees with him about the assassination is somewhat surprising, given the fact that for the last three decades surveys have consistently shown that anywhere from 65-90 percent of the American people believe Kennedy was killed as a result of a conspiracy (with about 5 percent undecided). McAdams acknowledges that most Americans believe there was a conspiracy, but he suggests this is because most people have been misled by disinformation put out by conspiracy theorists." (3)
In November, 2014, McAdams became involved in a highly-politicized debate over freedom of speech and academic freedom, when he posted his thoughts on whether a Marquette graduate student instructor had barred a student from discussing an opposing view toward same-sex marriage during class. He named the graduate student instructor and listing her contact information online. Marquette suspended McAdams and the professor sued. He ultimately won his case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which ordered Marquette to immediately reinstate him. "Marquette maintained the case was never about freedom of speech, rather, the decision to post a student's name and contact information publicly. The student ended up leaving Marquette after receiving 'vile and threatening' messages in the wake of McAdams' blog post." (4)
John Charles McAdams died on 15th April 2021.
Interest in Paine's garage, for example, derives from Oswald having stored his Mannlicher-Carcano, wrapped in a blanket, in that place. But no remnants of having been wrapped in a blanket were ever discovered on the alleged assassination weapon - not the least hairs or fibers - which is very curious, indeed, had the weapon actually been stored there.
The alleged instrument, a cheap, mass-produced World War II Italian carbine, has a muzzle velocity of around 2,000 fps, which means that it is not a high-velocity weapon. Since the President's death certificates (1963), The Warren Report (1964), and even more recent articles in The Journal of the American Medical Association (1992) report that JFK was killed by high velocity bullets, it follows that he was not killed by Oswald's weapon, thereby greatly reducing interest in Mrs. Paine's garage.
Indeed, though it may come as news to the author, many other students of the case, including Harold Weisberg, Whitewash (1965), Peter Model and Robert Groden, JFK: The Case for Conspiracy (1976), and Robert Groden and Harrison Livingstone, High Treason (1989), have also made the same observation. These are not books cited in this study, however, which raises rather serious questions as to why someone whose knowledge of the assassination appears to be so meager would write a book about it.
He does not know that Oswald had a history with American intelligence; that Oswald was being "sheep dipped" in New Orleans; that Oswald was an informant for the FBI; that the "paper bag" story is a fabrication; that Oswald was in the lunch room on the second floor having a coke during the shooting; that Oswald passed a paraffin test; and on and on. A weightly body of evidence substantiates all of these discoveries, but none of them is even mentioned, much less disputed, by the author of this book.
The sources he does cite, moreover, are far from reassuring. His Acknowledgements, for example, lists six persons, including Mrs. Paine and her former husband, Michael, Priscilla Johnson McMillan and John McAdams. McAdams has gained a certain degree of notoriety for his one-sided defense of the "lone nut" hypothesis, which disregards overwhelming contradictory evidence, including proof that the "magic bullet" theory is not only false but anatomically impossible.
John McAdams is a university professor who believes strongly that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, shot President Kennedy. McAdams doesn't believe a conspiracy of any kind was involved. McAdams believes the Warren Commission (WC) was correct in all its essential conclusions.
In McAdams' opinion, anyone who defends the conspiracy position is a "conspiracy buff." McAdams frequently refers to those who reject the lone-gunman theory as "buffs." McAdams even applies this label to experts who speak about aspects of the assassination that involve their field of expertise. For example, when McAdams learned that a professor of neuroscience at a Canadian university rejected the lone-gunman view that Kennedy's backward head snap was the result of a neuromuscular reaction, he opined that the professor was either a "buff" or had been spoon fed erroneous information by a critic of the lone-gunman theory.
McAdams' attitude toward virtually anyone who disagrees with him about the assassination is somewhat surprising, given the fact that for the last three decades surveys have consistently shown that anywhere from 65-90 percent of the American people believe Kennedy was killed as a result of a conspiracy (with about 5 percent undecided).
McAdams acknowledges that most Americans believe there was a conspiracy, but he suggests this is because most people have been misled by disinformation put out by conspiracy theorists.
John McAdams returns to Marquette with upbeat attitude, no regrets
John McAdams may have won his academic freedom battle against Marquette University this summer, but one might imagine that more than three years of campus banishment, the precarious status of his tenured political science professorship, and a nationally-watched Wisconsin Supreme Court case over whether Marquette could fire him for contentious posts on his personal blog would take some kind of toll.
"No, no, no." McAdams deadpans in his trademark hard-nosed, unsentimental manner. He waves away questions about whether he suffered during his leave, which finally ended last month when Marquette grudgingly reinstated him. And he's equally dismissive of questions about whether, for example, greeting the building secretary is awkward now. And about whether what happened to him still hurts.
"I'd feel hurt if I'd lost, but I won."
"And," he adds, nearly betraying a hint of delight at his good fortune, "there's a different secretary."
Beyond that, "everything looks familiar."
That includes his office, which he found last month exactly as he left it in 2014 when Marquette, the private, Jesuit university in Milwaukee, forced McAdams into professorial purgatory, indefinitely suspending him from campus for writings on Marquette Warrior, his personal blog. McAdams, a longtime critic of "politically correct Leftists," complained on the platform about a graduate student instructor who refused to allow classroom debate over the propriety of gay marriage. (She told a student that debate was settled.) After McAdams' post garnered national attention, the instructor got harassing and threatening messages. Marquette blamed McAdams.
But in July, the Wisconsin Supreme Court handed him a resounding victory. After agreeing to the rare step of taking the case on bypass from an appeals court, the Court ruled McAdams' personal writings were indeed protected by Marquette's contractual promises of academic freedom.
"The undisputed facts show," the court wrote, "that the University breached its contract with Dr. McAdams when it suspended him for engaging in activity protected by the contract's guarantee of academic freedom."
The decision overturned that of the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, which had sided with Marquette.
Now McAdams, whose first day back was August 17, is picking up where he left off, enjoying the sabbatical semester he says Marquette owed him during his suspension, and working on a new book, titled "60 Politically Incorrect Things You Should Know."
McAdams says the biggest continuing threat to academic freedom at most college campuses comes from the "small cadre" of students and faculty � supported by top-heavy, bureaucratic administrations � who don't want certain ideas discussed.
That observation seems to hold at Marquette, which issued a statement after McAdams' win, standing by its assertion that McAdams' "behavior crossed a line" and promising to "re-examine its policies, with the goal of providing every assurance possible that this never happens again." Marquette's choice of language suggests it may modify its faculty contracts to decrease their academic freedom.
"It sounds to me like they're simply going to try to come up with a rule to shut me or anyone else who might be like me up," McAdams says of the statement. "I don't know to what extent they could get away with that," noting that such an outcome is certainly possible because, while he personally "like[s] a good fight," "there are not that many faculty who are likely to make waves."
"A lot of faculty just keep their heads down and would keep their heads down no matter how secure their guarantee of academic freedom was simply because they just don't want to be in the middle of controversy."
"Now as for what students lose" at a university with administratively-prescribed ideological orthodoxy, "obviously they lose hearing different sides of the issue, and if they lose that, then it becomes not education, but indoctrination."
McAdams says he's excited to get back to the business of education in the spring, when he is set to resume teaching classes. Students appear to be eagerly anticipating his return as well.
McAdams says a reporter at Marquette's student newspaper recently told him she had been "bombarded with texts" asking if McAdams is going to be "teaching [his] JFK assassination course again."
"So that, at least, will be greeted with Hosannas from a lot of students."
Asked if he's gotten an undeserved reputation for being out-of-touch, or too outspoken over the last few years, McAdams is unflinching.
"Only a very few students think I say offensive things. You may run across a few here or there, but for the most part, students don't think that," he says. "There have been a lot more students who've rallied to my side than have attacked me."
As for what lies ahead for the remainder of his tenure at Marquette, one thing is certain: He doesn't plan to start self-censoring � in or out of the classroom.
"I think Marquette's kind of ginger in dealing with me, because they know that if there's any backlash," he says, with only the slightest pause, "it'll be on my blog."
John McAdams, a Marquette University political science professor widely known for winning a 2018 free speech case against the university, has died, the university confirmed.
The circumstances surrounding McAdams' death were not immediately clear late Thursday. He was 75, according to his author page at the U.S. Library of Congress.
McAdams was a professor at Marquette for nearly 45 years, and was a globally-recognized scholar on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He taught courses on American politics, public opinion, and voter behavior.
McAdams was probably most widely known for being at the center of a highly-politicized debate over freedom of speech and academic freedom, which started in November 2014 when he posted his thoughts on whether a Marquette graduate student instructor had barred a student from discussing an opposing view toward same-sex marriage during class.
McAdams posted his views on his personal blog, the Marquette Warrior, naming the graduate student instructor and listing her contact information online.
Marquette suspended McAdams and the professor sued. He ultimately won his case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which ordered Marquette to immediately reinstate him. He had spent seven semesters on suspension at that point.
The case became a cause cèlébre among those who believe liberal arts universities are liberal bastions that suppress conservative viewpoints. It was also seen as a win for the academic freedom of professors.
McAdams argued the court case was as much about a student not being allowed to express his views in a classroom � in this case, an opinion opposing gay marriage that is consistent with the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
Marquette maintained the case was never about freedom of speech, rather, the decision to post a student's name and contact information publicly. The student ended up leaving Marquette after receiving "vile and threatening" messages in the wake of McAdams' blog post.
Following the ruling, McAdams told the Journal Sentinel it was important to call out the graduate student's "misconduct" in her role as an instructor.
"It's absurd that when you find misconduct in a bureaucracy, you can't go public with it," he said. "Fighting a battle against bureaucracy is often much less effective than bringing sunlight to the situation."
The university said in a statement Thursday that the campus community was mourning the loss.
"The Marquette community extends its deepest sympathies and prayers to Dr. McAdams' family, friends colleagues and students," the statement read.
Rick Esenberg, president and general counsel for the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, represented him in the case against Marquette.
"He was a guy who saw the university as a place where there would be competing ideas and that people would argue, sometimes vigorously, but they would co-exist," he said.
McAdams also authored the 2011 book "JFK Assassination Logic: How to Think about Claims of Conspiracy."
Before coming to Marquette, McAdams taught at Harvard University and Boston University and was a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution, according to his biography and curriculum vitae on Marquette's website.
He earned his bachelor's in sociology from the University of Alabama, a master's in social studies education from Columbia University and a doctorate in political science from Harvard University.
John McAdams, an associate professor of political science at Marquette University, has passed away, according to an email sent out from Paul Nolette, chair of the department of political science and associate professor of political science. This email was sent to political science students taking POSC 4343: The Logic of Social Inquiry: The Kennedy Assassination, a class McAdams was teaching this semester.
"I'm writing to share the difficult news that Dr. John McAdams passed away today," Nolette said in the email. "Please join me in praying for Dr. McAdams' family, friends, and colleagues in the Klingler College of Arts & Sciences,"
McAdams was suspended with pay and banned from Marquette University's campus in 2014 after a controversial blog post in which he criticized a teaching assistant by name for a disagreement she had with a student about gay marriage. McAdams then sued Marquette University in 2016 after the events.
In 2017, a Milwaukee Circuit Court ruled in favor of Marquette. McAdams petitioned the Wisconsin Supreme Court to accept his case, which he eventually won in 2018. McAdams returned to the university in 2019 following a sabbatical in the fall of 2018.
Long-time Marquette University Professor John McAdams passed away Thursday, April 15.
The university issued a statement Thursday evening mourning his loss.
The professor was at the center of a major Marquette controversy in 2014. He was suspended for a blog post criticizing another professor for not allowing a debate on same-sex marriage. He fought the punishment for four years, saying it was protected free speech until the Supreme Court of Wisconsin's ruled in his favor in 2018.
Adams returned to teaching afterward, working at Marquette for a combined nearly 45 years.