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.
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.
Legal Professional, U.S. Representative, U.S. Governor / 1745 - 1829A Founding Father of the United States, John Jay established important judicial precedents as the first U.S. chief justice, including the Jay Treaty.