The Untold Truth Of Eric Adams

In 2021, the race to be the next mayor of New York City became a highly contested battle. A former presidential hopeful, Andrew Yang, seemed to be the most promising mayoral candidate, The New York Times reported. That is, until Eric Adams, "a former police captain and the current Brooklyn borough president," took the lead. Adams was at the top of a tightly contested primary election — he narrowly surpassed candidates Kathryn Garcia and Maya Wiley. And the race became even tighter between the top three after a voting mix-up. New York City's Board of Elections first incorrectly counted sample ballots. And for the initial results, "only the first-choice preferences were counted," in the ranked voting system, giving Adams an inflated lead on primary night, according to The New York Times. But his first place standing put Adams in the best possible spot to move from borough president to mayor.

Prior to the race, Adams lived an extraordinary life. After a traumatic childhood experience, he worked his way into the New York City Police Department. After 22-years on the force, he was elected to the New York State Senate in 2006. But his political career came with controversial moments, and in his personal life, Adams dealt with major health issues. 

This is the untold truth of Eric Adams.

Eric Adams had a diverse education

Though he grew up in South Jamaica, Queens, Eric Adams was born in Brooklyn — the borough he later became the president of. Adams was one of six children and grew up in "a working-class household," according to his official Brooklyn Borough bio. His dad, Leroy, worked as a butcher and his mother was a cook. In fact, Adam's mother Dorothy, who was born in the south, "worked double shifts as a housecleaner and gained only a third-grade education," City Limits reported. After Adams graduated from Bayside High School, he received a degree in data processing, then later criminal justice and public administration. To pay for all his education, Adams reportedly worked multiple side jobs, "including work in the mailroom of an accounting firm, as a mechanic, and as a clerk in the Kings County District Attorney's Office."

Adams later attended the New York City Police Academy. When he was studying to be a lieutenant, Adams admitted that grades weren't initially his strong point. "I wasn't a good student. I was a solid D+ student" Adams revealed in a commencement speech at Medgar Evers College. "How I beat you is that I'm not going to beat you academically, I'm going to beat you with endurance. Never stop," he said. This mindset paid off because per his bio, Adams graduated from the academy "as one of the highest-ranked students in his class."

Eric Adams faced a scary health issue

Back in 2013, people began to see Eric Adams' potential in New York City. One of Brooklyn's elected officials at the time, Frank Seddio, said he felt Adams would be a "likely mayoral candidate in eight years" thanks to his likeability and campaigning style, via City Limits

And as Adams worked towards this dream, his health deteriorated. In 2016, Adams learned he had Type 2 diabetes. And as a result of the disease, Adams faced serious complications. "I lost sight in my left eye," he told the New York Post. "I had permanent nerve damage in my hands and feet that the doctors stated would lead to amputation," he added. And according to the future mayoral candidate, five different "medical experts said his health complications were hereditary and irreversible." According to Adams, "I [also] had high blood pressure and high cholesterol."

As a result of his own experience, Adams set out to focus on health issues within his community. According to his Brooklyn Borough bio, Adams was able to "impact the health of countless New Yorkers facing chronic diseases, including his own mother."

Eric Adams made a drastic lifestyle change

In order to take his health into his own hands after being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, Eric Adams remembered, "I went to Google and Googled 'reversing diabetes,'" (via New York Post). Up to that point, the politician's diet was far from ideal. He claimed to have "regularly dined out on sugar-frosted doughnuts, fried meats and his favorite 'Dollar Menu' delicacies at fast-food restaurants." To counteract his habits and to improve his health, Adams switched to a vegan diet. And he credits the plant-based diet to his incredible turnaround. He even wrote a book called "'Healthy at Last: A Plant-Based Approach to Preventing and Reversing Diabetes and Other Chronic Illnesses," which describes his journey through stories and recipes. In a segment for News 12 Brooklyn, Adams said he was in remission from his diabetes thanks to his lifestyle change.

During an interview with Vanity Fair, Adams talked about whether or not he would introduce anti-meat rules if he became the mayor of New York. "The goal is to bring people along, not to dictate to them," Adams said. "What I'm going to do is similar to what we did with the vegetarian schools in Brooklyn, and with removing processed meat," he added. The mayoral candidate explained that his goal is to improve meals anywhere in the community that feeds its residents. "And I'm going to make sure that these children will know how to eat for a healthy lifestyle," Adams said.

Who is Eric Adams dating?

In the new millennium, when Eric Adams was an NYPD police sergeant, he dated Chrisena Coleman. The two met on the job — Adams as the subject of a report and Coleman as the reporter. She used to be a reporter for the Daily News "who covered entertainment, as well as the courts in the Bronx, before leaving the paper," reported. Though the two never married, Adams and Coleman had a son together, Jordan Coleman. A few years after Jordan was born, the couple split up. But Adams and Coleman reportedly stayed friendly with one another.

Years later, when Adams was running for mayor of New York City, he was with a different significant other. He and Tracey Collins, an educator, lived together in a co-op home in Fort Lee, New Jersey, the Daily Mail reported. But Adams revealed that the intense schedule of campaigning made it difficult to see his partner. During a speech in front of his Brooklyn home, Adams revealed that he only saw Collins once in the previous two months, journalist Jeff Coltin posted on Twitter.

Life as a father for Eric Adams

Eric Adams has an impressive resume for all his civil service. And in his personal life, Adams is also a father to his son Jordan Coleman. As opposed to his father, who used to be a police sergeant, Coleman is a creative type. For example, kids may recognize Coleman for his voice. The actor played Tyrone in the Nickelodeon animated series "The Backyardigans," per his IMDb page. His show received a second life through TikTok, thanks to the viral "Castaways" song, The Verge reported. In addition to his acting credits, Coleman is also a filmmaker. And though his son is busy in the entertainment industry, Adams still "has a close relationship with Jordan," revealed. In fact, the two apparently "spend plenty of time texting each other."

When talking about his son, Adams is proud of his accomplishments. "I think Jordan is one of the many gems that go unnoticed, particularly in communities of color, every day,” Adams explained. And he added that to him, Coleman is part of the "boys and girls contributing in their own small way" to the community. 

Coleman also supported his dad during criticism. He stood next to Adams during a demonstration where Adams tried to prove he resided in New York, CNN reported.

The times Eric Adams sparked controversy

As with many politicians, Eric Adams' rise through the ranks came with success and controversies. For example, Adams was accused of being negligent by allowing a "flawed bidding process" to allow legal gambling in Queens, New York. In another incident, this Democratic candidate for mayor once used to be a member of his rival party. According to the Observer, Adams "was a registered Republican from 1997 until 2001." And despite being a champion for diversity, he once criticized his opponent over racial reasons. Adams reportedly "tweaked" a former congressman Herman Badillo "for being Hispanic and marrying a white woman."

While Adams faced criticism for his words against candidates, he also caused a stir on the candidates he openly supported. As reported by City Limits, Adams supported former senator Hiram Monserrate, who was "accused of domestic violence toward his girlfriend." Adams even went on record to explain why he stood alongside his colleague in the senate. He said about Monserrate, "even when legislators are accused with credible evidence of illegal behavior — the only way to protect the rights of voters is to allow the judicial branch to do its job and serve due process." After Monserrate was convicted for assault, "Adams was one of only eight Senators to oppose expulsion, which passed with 53 votes."

Eric Adams is a valued leader of many communities

As a young Black man who grew up in Brooklyn, Eric Adams was used to a diverse set of neighbors. And as he advanced his political career, Adams joined forces and supported a diverse set of constituents. This includes several different sects of Judaism within his community. For example, in 2009 Adams went to dinner with the Satmar rabbis, a Hasidic sect of Judaism, The New York Times. Though at the time, Adams was a senator campaigning for the rabbis to vote for his governor, he heard a positive message from the hosts. Rabbi Leib Glanz "told the senator that the Satmars had a history of helping elect African-American candidates, citing an instance when they even backed one over a Jew."

A few years later, Adams went on a tour of a matzah bakery. In a video, the then-senator walked through the Chareidim Matzah Bakery in the Boro Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. Adams looked astonished amongst the cacophony of workers hand-rolling dough. In another community visit, Adams used his police force experience to deliver gifts. He helped hand out bulletproof vests to officers in the Brooklyn South Safety Patrol (BSSP) — also known as Shomrim Patrol. "I think no one understands more than when someone is out there every day about the fear that goes into the pit of your stomach when instead of running, you run towards the danger," he said. Adams also praised the patrol's work to protect the community.

The tragic details of Eric Adams' childhood

As a young man, Eric Adams faced a terrifying scenario that changed his life. After years of service as a policeman and a senator, Adams revealed that he was once a victim of police brutality. For an opinion piece in The New York Times, Adams wrote, "As a 15-year-old, living in South Jamaica, Queens, I was arrested on a criminal trespass charge after unlawfully entering and remaining in the home of an acquaintance." 

According to Adams, the police officers then took him into the basement of the 103d Precinct building. He also noted that this was "the same precinct where an unarmed Sean Bell was later shot and killed by the police." The former senator then vividly detailed the abuse inflicted upon him. The officers allegedly "kicked [him] in the groin repeatedly." As he added, "Out of every part of my body, that's what they targeted." 

After the physical abuse, Adams was then transferred to a juvenile detention center. After his night at the center, Adams remembers being in physical pain for over a week. And even though he was the victim of abuse, he was too embarrassed to tell his mother about the incident. Only once Adams became an adult did he finally reveal the experience with his family.

Eric Adams reveals what led to his run for mayor

The result of Eric Adams' scary encounter with the police as a teenager led to lasting effects. He revealed to The New York Times that he dealt with post-traumatic stress from the police encounter. At the same time, the experience "fueled his desire to become a police officer" after a chance encounter six years later with a local pastor led to the man "[suggesting] that he could 'infiltrate' the department," and in turn, "change police culture."

And Adams' drive didn't stop once becoming a policeman. "The emotional scar really started to heal throughout my time in the police department," he told the Washington Post. Adams explained that during his 25 years with the police, he constantly asked himself how to "police better in America." And even before the Black Lives Matter movement, Adams was happy to see that policing throughout the country "is part of the everyday conversation." For his personal health, "Adams vowed to help strengthen the police department's relationship with the Black community, he said — and to face 'the demon inside me.'" 

In order to further improve the community, Adams began to plan his future. He told the Observer in 2014 that he planned to run for mayor. In fact, the mayoral hopeful claimed he was already telling people he wanted to be mayor while working as a "beat cop."

Eric Adams fights for many causes

One of the most important job descriptions for any politician is to stand up for the people, no matter how difficult or how much adversity they face. Eric Adams has done this many times throughout his career, but one especially stands out. 

Adams was an early supporter of gay marriage in New York state. In a 2009 speech during a New York State Senate Session, he confessed at the start, "I've never been more nervous than I am today, to speak on this topic. Because this is an important topic — I think for me and this chamber," he added. After listing off the names of many states in the U.S. where it was once legally participated in slavery, Adams said that a majority isn't always correct. He went on to retell the recent history of how it wasn't until 1967 that interracial marriages were allowed. According to Adams, he felt that he heard the same negative statements at that time about interracial couples as he heard about gay marriage in the present day.

Adams also addressed the religious argument by many against the Marriage Equality Bill. "I have religious beliefs. But when I walk through these doors, my bible stays out," he said about the Senate chamber in Albany, New York. He concluded that with New York's powerful influence, "we have the legacy of setting the tone for the rest of the country."

The charitable side of Eric Adams

Even with his civil service as a former policeman and as a politician, Eric Adams finds even more ways to give back to his community. One is the One Brooklyn Fund, a "foundation established by Adams to help finance community programs for kids and seniors," according to ABC News. But while the cause is admirable, Adams faced criticism for the inner workings of the charity. In 2016, the Department of Investigation looked into the business records to determine how the non-profit organization's funds were being spent. "At issue is whether money for his foundation comes — at least in part — from rent collected for office space and events held in Borough Hall, where Adams assigns the fees and collects the rent," the report noted.

Adams, who was the Brooklyn Borough President at the time of the inquiry, denied that any funds were mixed or misappropriated. He claimed "that the rent money paid for office space in Brooklyn Borough Hall did not go to his non-profit foundation." And he clarified that there are different accounts between his organization and the fees collected for the office building. Later, the politician also raised flags with the appearance of using the charity for self-promotion. According to Politico, in addition to the positive aspects of the non-profit, "money from the organization has also been spent on high-end fundraisers that raised little money, marketing materials that promote Adams' name and image."

Eric Adams' thoughts on recreational activities

While Eric Adams is popular among many different groups within New York City, it doesn't mean all of his policies have the full support of the people. And one particular stance even stood out amongst his peers. During a debate between all the Democratic mayoral candidates, Adams was the only one with open reservations about legalizing marijuana. "I'm concerned about the marijuana laws altogether," Adams said during a televised event, as recapped by the New York Post. He further clarified that he believed marijuana "can impact on how you respond, it can impair your judgment, so when we talk about legalizing here and how it's going to be rolled out in the city we need to have clear instructions."

Part of Adams' stance comes from his experience as a child. He explained during the debate that his father was a heavy smoker during Adams' childhood. The mayoral candidate added that he was concerned with where people could smoke, "particularly apartment buildings where people live," The New York Times recapped. Adams further clarified his stance in an interview for Vanity Fair. "I supported and pushed the cannabis bill. My concern is that we can't send the wrong message to people that it's okay to smoke a joint and then go do an operation, or it's okay to smoke a joint and then go to school in the morning, or to operate heavy equipment. That is my concern."

Eric Adams reveals his favorite musicians

When he's not trying to represent his constituents and change the world, Eric Adams likes to listen to music. And his tastes are varied. In an interview for Vanity Fair, he revealed the artist he most wanted to see headline a concert in Central Park. "I think that we all want Beyoncé," Adams admitted. The mayoral candidate even had setlist advice for the superstar. Adams said, "I think that she would be the best to open with 'I am a survivor' because that's the theme of New York. We are survivors." Even though the song 'Survivor' is actually a Destiny's Child song and not exactly a solo hit of Bey's — he made a good point.

Looking back at his favorite concert ever, Adams said he loved watching Curtis Mayfield perform. And the mayoral candidate happened to watch the performer during his Wingate Concert Series. As Adams recapped, "At that concert there was a rainstorm and the lights fell on Curtis Mayfield and they actually paralyzed him at that concert." Adams added about Mayfield, "He died a few years ago, but it was an amazing concert before that happened. Just so unfortunate." Miraculously, Mayfield released an album despite being physically limited after the incident.

Eric Adams, the tech supporter

Before becoming a policeman, Eric Adams was on track for a completely different line of work. He attended New York City Technical College and was a "computer-science geek," according to New York Magazine. Reportedly, soon before Adams was set to graduate from the college, "he was asked to infiltrate the New York Police Department" along with about twelve other young men. But even as Adams worked his way up in the ranks and became a politician, he still kept his passion for technology close to his political stances. 

For example, he endorsed an app developed by a team of college students called Heat Seek NYC for tenants in New York City. The tool "records temperatures and generates the documents shivering tenants need for a legal battle will be installed in at least 10 buildings across the borough, with plans to expand it citywide," Daily News reported. As the Brooklyn Borough President, he said to members of the community, "If you're concerned about your heat, you know what? We've got an app for that."

During another speech, Adams openly opposed a plan to limit drivers of ride-sharing applications like Uber in the city. He explained to the Observer that even though the ride shares added to traffic, he felt the restriction was "too severe."

How much is Eric Adams worth?

As the Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams makes a significant salary. And because he's a civil servant, his exact salary is part of the public records. According to GovSalaries, Adams' annual salary in 2020 was $178,231. And according to the site, this salary is extraordinary for his line of work — reportedly "141 percent higher than average and 155 percent higher than median salary." Even with all this money, Adams still lives in the city where he was raised. But critics questioned whether Adams actually lived in New York City once he became a top mayoral candidate. To prove his residence, Adams gave the press a tour of his house, CNN reported. In what turned out to be a less-luxurious version of MTV's "Cribs," Adams presented his modest home. In front of the press, he claimed he was "proud to be a resident of Bed-Stuy" in Brooklyn.

Journalist Jeff Coltin posted on his Twitter account a recap of the scene with Adams and his son Jordan and retweeted a photo of the mayoral candidate's refrigerator. While it appeared to look like a normal fridge, reporters were quick to point out the food items that didn't match with Adams' diet. "The salmon and other non-vegan items are his son's, according to his campaign team," Twitter user David Brand posted.