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Darryl Adams was born on September 19, 1947 in Portsmouth, Virginia to parents Harry and Kate Adams. He was the first of five sons. In 1959, the Adams family moved to Poway California, a suburb of San Diego. Adams was a member of the first class to graduate from the newly constructed Poway High School in 1961.
Adams became interested in political activism and social justice at a young age. In particular, Adams became interested in Marxist-Leninist philosophy. While he was still in high school, Adams would attend lectures and meetings at the University of California and other political events around Poway and San Diego. After graduating from high school, Adams was enrolled at the Revelle Campus of the University of California where he studied philosophy. It was there that Adams became more heavily involved in political activism events that were being experienced throughout the United States in the mid 1960s, including the Free Speech Movement and other Anti-Vietnam War demonstrations. In 1966, Adams moved to Santa Cruz with several of his high school friends, where he continued to attend anti war rallies. He would also meet with other philosophers in the area who also believed in Marxist-Leninism philosophy.
In late 1967, Adams received a draft notice from the US Government. In order to avoid being conscripted into the US Army, he and Shelia left California and came to Vancouver in March of 1968. Even in Vancouver, Adams maintained his interest in social justice and other political activism movements. He was a core member of the Vancouver American Exiles Association (VAEA), which campaigned against the America's continuing involvement in the Vietnam War, and for amnesty for Americans who came to Canada to escape the draft. In 1976, Adams received amnesty from the United States Government, although he opted to stay in Vancouver.
In addition to this and other Anti-Vietnam War movements in Canada, Adams was also interested in other movements, such as: labour rights for the working class; women's rights; rights for Indigenous people and minority groups; political movements in Latin and South America; and, communist, socialist, and Marxist-Leninist movements in Vancouver, Canada, and the United States.
Adams interest in social justice is reflect through his career as a researcher and consultant. Upon his arrival in Canada in 1969 to 1971, Adams worked as researcher for SFU Instructor John Legget, researching "blue collar consciousness" in East Vancouver. In 1971 to 1973, Adams worked at the Vancouver Public Library, where he also worked as a researcher specifically in the Historic Photographic Section of the Library. From 1975 to 1977, Adams was hired by the Legal Service Commission of BC, where he worked as a Public School Legal Education Advisor. After working a few years as a freelance writer and researcher, Adams moved into the Health Sector, where he worked as a consultant for the Coast Foundation Society from 1980-1985, and then the Canadian Mental Health Association in 1987. In all of these positions, Adams worked as an advocate for the working class and rights for minority groups. In 1999, Adams passed away in his home in Vancouver.