Best Known For
Benjamin Franklin is best known as one of the Founding Fathers who drafted the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
A short biography on Benjamin Franklin, who's been famously called the "first Citizen of the 18th Century." A man of many trades, Franklin is famous for "Poor Richard's Almanac," as well as his work in electrical theory.
Aside from The Bible, Poor Richard's Almanac became the most read item in the new colonies.
After many revisions, Benjamin Franklin and the other founding fathers signed one of the most important documents in history.
Benjamin Franklin was known as many things: an author, politician, scientist, philosopher and inventor.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Born in Boston in 1706, Benjamin Franklin organized the United States’ first lending library and volunteer fire department. His scientific pursuits included investigations into electricity, mathematics and mapmaking. He helped draft the Declaration of Independence and the U.S Constitution, and negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which marked the end of the Revolutionary War.
"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid."
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."
"A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body."
“Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out.”
“From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books.”
“So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.”
“In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history; for, even if I could conceive that I had compleatly overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”
“Human felicity is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day.”
“There never was a good war or a bad peace.”
“In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.”
“Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.”
“He does not possess wealth, it possesses him.”
“Experience keeps a dear school, yet fools will learn in no other.”
Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, in Boston in what was then known as the Massachusetts Bay Colony. His father, Josiah Franklin, a soap and candle maker, had 17 children, seven with first wife, Anne Child, and 10 with second wife Abiah Folger. Benjamin was his 15th child and the last son.
Despite his success at the Boston Latin School, Ben was removed at 10 to work with his father at candle making, but dipping wax and cutting wicks didn’t fire his imagination. Perhaps to dissuade him from going to sea as one of his brothers had done, Josiah apprenticed Ben at 12 to his brother James at his print shop. Ben took to this like a duck to water, despite his brother’s hard treatment. When James refused to publish any of his brother’s writing, Ben adopted the pseudonym Mrs. Silence Dogood, and “her” 14 imaginative and witty letters were published in his brother’s newspaper, The New England Courant, to the delight of the readership. But James was angry when it was discovered the letters were his brother’s, and Ben abandoned his apprenticeship shortly afterward, escaping to New York, but settling in Philadelphia, which was his home base for the rest of his life.
Franklin furthered his education in the printing trade in Philadelphia, lodging at the home of John Read in 1723, where he met and courted Read’s daughter Deborah. Nevertheless, the following year, Franklin left for London under the auspices of Pennsylvania Governor William Keith, but felt duped when letters of introduction never arrived and he was forced to find work at print shops there. Once employed, though, he was able to take full advantage of the city’s pleasures, attending theater, mingling with the populace in coffee houses and continuing his lifelong passion for reading. He also managed to publish his first pamphlet, "A Dissertation upon Liberty and Necessity, Pleasure and Pain."
Franklin returned to Philadelphia in 1726 to find that Deborah Read had married. In the next few years he held varied jobs such as bookkeeper, shopkeeper and currency cutter. He also fathered a son, William, out of wedlock during this time. In late 1727, Franklin formed the “Junto,” a social and self-improvement study group for young men, and early the next year was able to establish his own print shop with a partner.
After publishing another pamphlet, "The Nature and Necessity of a Paper Currency," Franklin was able to purchase The Pennsylvania Gazette newspaper from a former boss, and was elected the official printer of Pennsylvania.
profile name: Benjamin Franklin profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Steve Jobs wasn't the only person in history to turn the apple into a significant cultural symbol. Somewhere in between the origin of the Adam and Eve story and the invention of the iPod, there were dozens of notable people who transformed the forbidden fruit into a significant statement.
Apple Icons 10 people in this group
Who Is On Your Money 17 people in this group
They are American icons—they're on our dollars and coins, they are the subject of our monuments, and we live our daily lives in the world their ideas helped create. America's Founding Fathers include George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and, of course, Benjamin Franklin. These men, together with several other key players of their time, structured the American democracy and left a legacy that has shaped the world. But beyond their legends, these men were human beings who led complex and fascinating lives. Learning their stories helps us better understand what made them tick, as well as their influence on our world today.
Founding Fathers 30 people in this group