Adam Small was born in Wellington, Cape, 21 December 1936. Married to Dr Rosalie Small (nee Daniels). Grew up until 8-9 years old in Goree, a hamlet on the Cape Town side of Robertson in the Boland, where his father was a schoolmaster to the farming communities in that countryside. In 1945, the family moved to the Cape Flats, where again his father was schoolmaster, this time for the Cape Flats children of Retreat – Steenberg. Small grew up rather staidly Dutch Reformed, but his mother was Muslim by birth, and his senior secondary education entirely Catholic.