Born in 1933, Mae Adams, the second daughter of an aristocratic family, spent her childhood in North Korea. Her mother had abandoned her, for she was not a son, and her step-grandmother raised Mae in a remote mountain village. She became a refugee at the end of World War II and during the Korean War and then made her way to the United States in 1961 to attend a college. Three years later, she married a US Marine colonel, whom she had met earlier in Korea, and together they began raising a family.
Mae ran her own successful business for many years until her husband suffered a stroke in 1991. She was his primary caregiver until his death thirteen years later. English is her fourth language. She now lives near her daughter’s family in McCormick, South Carolina.