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.
Featured Founding Fathers
Meet some of the great thinkers who helped shaped America, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams and John Jay.
Economist, Lawyer, Military Leader, Political Scientist, Journalist, Government Official / 1755 - 1804
Alexander Hamilton, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention and major author of the Federalist papers, was the United States' first secretary of the treasury.
Diplomat, U.S. President, U.S. Vice President, U.S. Governor, Government Official / 1743 - 1826
Thomas Jefferson was a draftsman of the Declaration of Independence and the third U.S. president (1801-09). He was also responsible for the Louisiana Purchase.
Supreme Court Justice, Diplomat, U.S. Representative, U.S. Governor, Journalist / 1745 - 1829
One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, John Jay is known as a writer of The Federalist Papers and for being the nation's first chief justice.