Adolph Coors III in the late 1950s.
Coors was born on January 12, 1916, the son of Alice May (née Kistler; 1885-1970) and Adolph Coors II. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Like most of his family, including brother Joseph Coors, Adolph graduated from Cornell University, where he was president of the Quill and Dagger society and a member of The Kappa Alpha Society. Coors was also a semi-professional baseball player.
On February 9, 1960, while on his way to work, he was murdered at the age of 44 in a foiled kidnapping attempt by escaped murderer Joseph Corbett, Jr. in Colorado. In September, the remains of Coors were found by hunters in a remote area around Pikes Peak. The subject of an international manhunt, Corbett was captured in Vancouver, British Columbia in October of that year.
The Adolph Coors Company Board of Directors posing together at the dedication of the new headhouse at the brewery in Golden, Col., on April 16, 1952. Three men are standing and three men are seated on top of the headhouse. Standing in back left to right are brothers, William K. Coors, Joseph Coors, and Adolph Coors III. Seated in front left to right are brothers Grover Coors, Herman Coors, and Adolph Coors II (from the Golden History Museum).
Skiing was a passion to “Ad”, as he is affectionately known, grandson of the founder of Coors Brewing Company. “Ad was an avid, enthusiastic and inexhaustible skier”, his brother Bill Coors remembers. “He was involved not only in the sport of skiing itself but active in its development as a major Colorado industry and in the promotion of Colorado as Ski Country, USA.” He imparted his love of the sport to his friends and family. A highly polished skier, he took every opportunity away from the brewery to hit the slopes on family vacations. “He wanted to help those he really cared about to gain a taste of the sport he loved,” recalls Cecily Garnsey, Coors’ daughter. Ad was instrumental in developing modern skiing in Colorado. He channeled his love and his resources toward establishing quality ski resorts in Colorado. He helped to found the Aspen Ski Corporation in 1946, and served on the board of directors until his tragic death on February 9, 1960. He was present at the opening of Sun Valley, became one of the earliest members of the Arlberg Ski Club at Winter Park in 1938, and was becoming involved with the development of Vail at the time of his death. Ad also helped to establish ski racing in the state, by bringing the World Alpine Ski Championships to Aspen in 1950 (serving as Finance Chairman), the first time the event was held in the US. His daughter remembers, “He loved to ski. He loved Colorado. And he wanted to see a marriage of the two.” Ad was a skier for life, and he tirelessly contributed time, money and energy to help others understand and appreciate his love for the sport.