He was governor of Salzburg from 1870 to 1871, and proved in that position, as well as in his subsequent political life, a staunch supporter of the constitution. From 1871 to 1879, he was head of the Austrian ministry as the 8th Minister-President of Cisleithania. Therefore he succeeded in carrying out the electoral reform of the Empire, securing direct elections to the lower chamber of the Reichsrat, and in strengthening the political entente with Hungary.
He was the son of Prince Wilhelm of Auersperg (1781–1827), Duke of Gottschee, and Friederike Luise Henriette (née von Lenthe.
1791–1860). Adolf was married twice:
the first time (1845) with Baroness Johanna Aloysia Mladota von Solopisk (1820–1849);
the second time (1857) with Countess Johanna Festetics de Tolna (1830–1884), daughter of Ernõ János Vilmos von Festetics. This second marriage produced a son:
Karl (1859–1927), who became the 9th prince of Auersperg.
Karl married in 1885 Countess Eleonore Breunner-Enkevoirth (1864–1920), daughter of Count August Breunner-Enkevoirth. They had five children:
Princess Agathe von Auersperg (1888–1973), married (1913) to Alexander von Schönburg-Hartenstein
Princess Johanna von Auersperg (1890–1967), married (1917) to Rudolf of Meran, son of Count Franz of Meran
Princess Eleonore von Auersperg (1892–1967), married (1919) to Erwin Wallner
Prince Karl von Auersperg-Breunner (1895–1980), married (1927) to Henriette von Meran.