Benjamin Franklin is best known for being one of the founding fathers of the United States of America. But this man also wears a host of other hats – that of a printer, a writer, a statesman, a scientist, an inventor, a philosopher, an economist and a musician.
Looking at the dazzling later part of Franklin’s life, one would little expect a childhood as rocky as his. I just had a quick flick through Walter Isaacson's book, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, and an inspiring zero-to-hero story is slowly revealed.
Benjamin Franklin Life Story
Benjamin Franklin was sired by a man who fathered 17 children in all. Josiah Franklin was a soap maker, and could not afford to provide for all his children. This translated to Benjamin not having access to formal education.
However, Ben’s quest for knowledge led to him to voraciously read every printed word he could lay his little hands on. Ben was later direct to apprentice a printer for his older brother James Franklin who owned The New England Courant, the first newspaper in Boston.
In Philadelphia, Benjamin was working with a printer when the governor of Philly promised to help Ben set up his own shop if he traveled to London to purchase his own printing equipment. Ben readily boarded a ship to London, but was stuck in London when the governor failed to live up to his word.
The silver lining to this cloud is that he met the love of his life, whom he would marry later in his life. Ben returned to Philly later and soon set up his own printing press.
A couple of years fast forwarded, Benjamin Franklin was a respectable man renowned for his contributions to the civic world he was a part of.
Being a thinker and an ardent reader, Franklin solved the problem of few books being available in America by introducing the concept of subscription libraries, and set up the first library.
He also founded the American Philosophical Society, the first ever pool of learned minds to exist in America. He also set up the Pennsylvania Hospital to cater to the ailing. All the three organization are fully functional till date.
Franklin also brought about the first fire brigade in Philly. And his work in the field of electricity established him as a man with knowledge to be reckoned with in the field of science.
On the political front, Ben was among those who first recognized that America must be unlinked from England. He collaborated with Thomas Jefferson in drafting the Declaration Of Independence, coaxed the French into siding with America and drafted a good number of treaties.
Benjamin Franklin, exposed to the vagaries of life early on, was relatively unperturbed by the rough hand of life. The ability to quickly rebound and advance forward is an asset that will serve us well.
"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing," said B. Franklin. Rise above the gluttony of small failures and reach out for the stars to make your life note worthy.
Benjamin Franklin Biography
Benjamin Franklin was one of the most important figures in American history. He was a polymath who excelled in many fields, including science, writing, and politics. He was born in Boston in 1706 and apprenticed as a printer before running away to Philadelphia at the age of 17. There, he became a successful printer and publisher, and began writing and publishing articles under various pseudonyms. He also became involved in local politics, and was appointed as the official printer for the colonies.
In 1751, Franklin became a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly, and in 1757, he was sent as an envoy to England to represent the colonies. He returned to America in 1775, and was appointed as a delegate to the Continental Congress. He was a key figure in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, and played a significant role in the Revolutionary War, both as a diplomat and as a member of the Committee of Secret Correspondence.
After the war, Franklin continued to be active in politics, and was a key figure in the drafting of the U.S. Constitution. He also continued to make important scientific discoveries, including his work on electricity, for which he is best known. He died in Philadelphia in 1790 at the age of 84, and is widely considered to be one of the most important figures in American history.
He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions.
Benjamin Franklin Fast Facts
* Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts.
* He was the 15th of 17 children born to his father, Josiah Franklin.
* He was apprenticed as a printer at the age of 12 and ran away to Philadelphia at the age of 17.
* Franklin became a successful printer and publisher in Philadelphia, and began writing and publishing articles under various pseudonyms, including "Silence Dogood" and "Poor Richard."
* He also became involved in local politics, and was appointed as the official printer for the colonies.
* In 1751, Franklin became a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly, and in 1757, he was sent as an envoy to England to represent the colonies.
* He returned to America in 1775, and was appointed as a delegate to the Continental Congress.
* He was a key figure in the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, and played a significant role in the Revolutionary War, both as a diplomat and as a member of the Committee of Secret Correspondence.
* After the war, Franklin continued to be active in politics, and was a key figure in the drafting of the U.S. Constitution.
* He also continued to make important scientific discoveries, including his work on electricity, for which he is best known.
* He invented many things including bifocals, lightning rod, Franklin stove, odometer, and the glass armonica.
* He was one of the first to propose the idea of daylight saving time.
* He was also a Freemason and helped establish the first Masonic Grand Lodge in the United States.
* He died in Philadelphia on April 17, 1790 at the age of 84.
* He is widely considered to be one of the most important figures in American history, and is remembered for his contributions to science, literature, and politics.
Benjamin Franklin Top Quotes
"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." (Meaning)
"We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." (Meaning)
"Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead." (Meaning)
"Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days." (Meaning)
"Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning." (Meaning)
"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." (Meaning)
"When in doubt, don't." (Meaning)
"Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship." (Meaning)
"Time is money."
"As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence."
"The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself." (Meaning)
"There was never a good war, or a bad peace."
"Energy and persistence conquer all things." (Meaning)
"He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else." (Meaning)
"The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself."
"Well done is better than well said." (Meaning)
"It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it."
"Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today." (Meaning)
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
"Lost time is never found again." (Meaning)
"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." (Meaning)
"Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom - and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech."
"Diligence is the mother of good luck." (Meaning)
"Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late." (Meaning)
"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins." (Meaning)
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." (Meaning)
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." (Meaning)
"Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."
"A penny saved is a penny earned."
"The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones."
"You may delay, but time will not." (Meaning)
"It is easier to prevent bad habits than to break them." (Meaning)
"Some people die at 25 and aren't buried until 75." (Meaning)
"Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame." (Meaning)
"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." (Meaning)
"Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants." (Meaning)
"Honesty is the best policy." (Meaning)
"Do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." (Meaning)
"Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy." (Meaning)
"A place for everything, everything in its place." (Meaning)
"He that can have patience can have what he will." (Meaning)
"He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals." (Meaning)
"Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other." (Meaning)
"Half a truth is often a great lie." (Meaning)
"At twenty years of age the will reigns; at thirty, the wit; and at forty, the judgment." (Meaning)
"When you're finished changing, you're finished." (Meaning)
"There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one's self." (Meaning)
"It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man." (Meaning)
"A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body." (Meaning)
"How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them." (Meaning)
"I didn't fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong." (Meaning)
"Wise men don't need advice. Fools won't take it." (Meaning)
"Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest." (Meaning)
"Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God." (Meaning)
"Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment." (Meaning)
"A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle." (Meaning)
"Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards." (Meaning)
"Take time for all things: great haste makes great waste." (Meaning)
"Many a man thinks he is buying pleasure, when he is really selling himself to it." (Meaning)
"Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?" (Meaning)
"Never confuse motion with action." (Meaning)
* The editor of this short biography made every effort to maintain information accuracy, including any quotes, facts, or key life events. If you're looking to expand your personal development, I recommend exploring other people's life stories and gaining inspiration from my collection of inspiring quotes. Exposing yourself to different perspectives can broaden your worldview and help you with your personal growth.
Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.