John Hancock

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John Hancock was secretary of the Continental Congress, and the first person to sign the United States Declaration of Independence. He signed his name largely and clearly, saying he wanted to be sure King George could read it; his name thus became a slang term for "signature."

John Hancock was also the third President of the Continental Congress, and thus the leader of what was to become the United States, from May 24, 1775, until October 30, 1777.

He was preceeded in office by Henry Middleton and succeeded by Henry Laurens.