John Adams is one of several men in his family with the same famous name.
He is John L. (for Lawrence) Adams. His grandfather was John V. Adams. His son is John W. Adams, and his grandson is John P. Adams.
"It's been kind of a fun thing," said John, 69, of Belleville. "When I introduce myself, I'll say, 'You know, like the second president.' That kind of helps people remember you."
John has learned more about the President Adams in the past decade. He watched the HBO miniseries and read the book by David McCullough on which it was based.
"(The president) seemed very intelligent, and he was a patriot," John said.
John Adams, a U.S. founding father from Massachusetts, was president from 1797 to 1801, after serving as the first vice president to George Washington.
John L. Adams' name was known locally in the early '60s, when he was a quarterback for Belleville High School's football team. They tied with East St. Louis for the conference championship.
John went on to work as a contractor, real-estate agent, city housing inspector and Alton Belle Casino dealer. He's now retired.
"It's not bad being named after a president," he said.