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.
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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."
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.
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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.
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