Tinsley Adams, 60, president of Johnson & Adams Inc., a Washington insurance agency which had been founded by his family, died of cancer Monday at the Washington Hospital Center.

Mr. Adams was born in Washington and resided in Bethesda at the time of his death. He was a graduate of St. Albans School and of Princeton University. He joined Johnson & Adams in 1939. He was a past president of the General Agents and Managers Association of the Continental Assurance Co.

Mr. Adams also was a past president of the Princeton Club of Washington. He was a member of the board of trustees and was chairman of the executive committee of the Landon School in Bethesda. He was one of the founders of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Potomac.

He was a member of the Metropolitan and Chevy Chase clubs. He had been a vice president and member of the board of governors of the Chevy Chase Club.

Survivors include his mother, Hontas T. Adams, of Washington; three children, Bruce T., of Potomac; H. Macgill, of Boulder, Colo., and Mary Ragan, of Key Biscayne, Fla., and a sister, Angela Hopkins, of Baltimore.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to Princeton University, Princeton, N.J., or to the Landon School, Bethesda.