A lawyer and fiercely independent man who had a reverence for the law and personal liberty. A delegate to the first and second Continental Congress and the leading advocate for independence, Adams was a man marked by contradictions. His Yankee humility and frugality were at odds with his ambition and desire for renown, and his commitment to intellectual rigor was sometimes at odds with his zest for life. His ally in all of his endeavors was his wife and closest confidante Abigail, who raised their four children. Adams was named Minister Plenipotentiary to France and America's first Minister to the Court of St. James's; elected the first Vice President and second President of the United States; and, incredibly, died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence - the same day as Thomas Jefferson.