A college professor who had been slammed by his own university for "vile" and "hateful" statements was found dead inside his North Carolina home, less than two weeks before his planned retirement, authorities said Friday.
University of North Carolina Wilmington professor Mike Adams' death was discovered after a friend who hadn't seen or heard from him "in a couple of days" called the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday and asked that deputies check on him, sheriff's Lt. Jerry Brewer told NBC News.
Brewer declined to elaborate on a potential cause of death, but said there was no immediate evidence of foul play. Adams, 55, lived alone.
"It is with sadness that we share the news that the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a death investigation involving Dr. Mike Adams, professor of criminology," the university said in a statement on Thursday. "Please keep his friends and loved ones in your thoughts."
Adams, who taught sociology and criminology, was a lightning rod due to his racist and sexist tweets and other commentary, including about Muslims, gays and efforts to fight the coronavirus.
His long history of comments about women, minorities and others led the university on June 5 to call out his "hateful," "distasteful" and "vile" language. That was followed weeks later, on June 29, by an announcement that Adams had decided to retire Aug. 1.
Among the professor's recent statements was his comparing the efforts of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to curb coronavirus to that of a slave master, tweeting on May 29: "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!"
Back in 2016, Adams used an ultraconservative opinion site to target a student at his school with an article titled “A Queer Muslim Jihad.”
In 2013, he said gay couples should not receive equal treatment "because they do not equally benefit society."