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Profile of the Day: John Hancock

Profile of the Day: John Hancock

John Hancock

On this day in 1737, John Hancock was born in Braintree, Massachusetts. A prominent Patriot during the American Revolutionary War, Hancock is often remembered for his large and stylish signature on the United States Declaration of Independence.

After his father’s death in 1744, Hancock was sent to live with his uncle and aunt, Thomas Hancock and Lydia Henchman. His uncle was a highly successful merchant and when he passed in 1746, Hancock inherited his uncle’s business and became one of the richest men in New England.

Hancock was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence and became so well known for his large and stylistic signature that his name, “John Hancock,” has become synonymous with the word “signature.” According to legend, Hancock wrote his name big so that King George III could read it without his spectacles.

Today, his birthday is celebrated as National Handwriting Day in the U.S.

Explore John Hancock’s family tree on Geni and share how you’re related!

View John Hancock’s Geni Profile


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Image: Library of Congress


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