John Hancock, statesman and outspoken patriot, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts on January 23, 1737. Hancock was one of the richest men in the colonies and used his wealth to support the colonial cause during a time of much political unrest against British rule.
John Hancock is most remembered as the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, especially because his signature was so large and extravagant on the document. For this reason, “John Hancock” has become a name synonymous with the word signature, specifically in the United States.
Hancock acted as president of the 2nd Continental Congress and served as the governor of Massachusetts for two non-consecutive terms. He died on October 8, 1793 at the age of 56.