Margaret Mary McNeilly was born in Philadelphia, where in the early 1940s she began her career at Curtis Publishing Co. There,, she became director of women’s news assigned to publications including the Saturday Evening Post and Ladies’ Home Journal.
She later moved to New York, where she joined Crowell-Collier Publishing Co. as a manager of public affairs for Women’s Home Companion and Collier’s. Also in New York, she was an account executive at Grey Advertising.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, she was editor in chief of Today’s Girl, a magazine sponsored by the Camp Fire Girls, her son said. She later created a consultancy, Hearth Communications, whose projects included elements of the 1976 national bicentennial programs.
In the mid-1970s, she joined the Hearst publishing corporation and worked for Good Housekeeping magazine, where she became a senior national affairs editor and organized a series of conferences coinciding with the United Nations’ Decade for Women in 1976-85.
Mrs. Adams opened a Good Housekeeping office in Washington in the late 1980s. She retired from Hearst in 1995 but continued to work as a consultant on the East Coast.
She lectured on women’s issues around the world, her son said, and served on boards including the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services and Marymount University’s Board of Trustees. She received professional honors and recognitions from organizations supporting women’s rights.
Her husband of 14 years, George A. Adams, died in 1976.
Survivors include two sons, Gregory Adams of Redondo Beach, Calif., and Jeffrey Adams of West Chester, Pa.; and three grandchildren.
— Emily Langer