Adams was born and raised in Windham, New York, in the Catskill Mountains. He has lived and worked in California since 1979.
He holds a B.A. in economics from Hartwick College, Oneonta New York, and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley. He’s also a certified hypnotist.
Adams held a variety of—in his words—”humiliating and low paying jobs” during his eight years at Crocker National Bank and eight years at Pacific Bell. He’s been a bank teller (he was robbed twice at gunpoint), computer programmer, financial analyst, product manager, commercial lender, budget manager, strategist, project manager and pseudo-engineer.
During this time, Adams entertained himself during boring meetings by drawing insulting cartoons of his co-workers and bosses. Eventually a bespectacled character named Dilbert emerged from the doodles. In 1988 Adams mailed some sample comic strips featuring Dilbert to the major cartoon syndicates. United Feature Syndicate plucked Dilbert out of thousands of submissions received that year and offered Adams a contract. Dilbert launched in about 50 newspapers in 1989.
Adams continued his day job at Pacific Bell until 1995, drawing Dilbert at 5 a.m. everyday before work. Now Adams devotes his entire day (and much of the evening) to Dilbert, including writing, doing interviews, designing licensed products and answering hundreds of e-mail messages per day. He owns two restaurants and is CEO of Scott Adams Foods, Inc., a vegetarian food company.
Dilbert is published in over 2,000 newspapers, in 65 countries. Adams has 29 books in print—over 10 million sold—including two number-one New York Times best-sellers.