Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the tenth boy of 17 children. Franklin was one of the leading founding fathers of the United States of America. He signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States and served as the new nation's ablest diplomat.
Biography and Career :
Benjamin Franklin's formal schooling ended early, but his education never did. He believed that "the doors to wisdom are never shut" and read every book he could get his hands on. Franklin taught himself simple algebra and geometry, navigation, logic, history, science, English grammar and a working knowledge of five other languages.
Benjamin Franklin had a simple formula for success. He believed that successful people worked just a l
ittle harder than other people. He built a successful printing and publishing business in Philadelphia; he conducted scientific studies of electricity and made several important discoveries; he was an accomplished diplomat and statesman; he helped establish Pennsylvania's first university and America's first city hospital. He also organized the country's first subscription library.
Benjamin Franklin was also unequaled in America as an inventor until Thomas Edison
. He invented the Franklin stove, bifocal eyeglasses and the lightning rod. Franklin wasn't greedy about his inventions, preferring to have them used freely for the comfort and convenience of everyone. Thomas Jefferson called Benjamin Franklin "the greatest man and ornament of the age and country in which he lived."
Benjamin Frankilin had a strong belief that good citizenship included an obligation of public service. Franklin himself served the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the new United States of America, in one way or the other, for most of his life. To Benjamin Franklin there was no greater purpose in life than to "live usefully."
In 1757, Benjamin Franklin was sent to England to petition the king for the right to levy taxes. He remained in England for the next five years as the representative of the American colonies. Benjamin Franklin returned to England in 1764 as an agent of Pennsylvania, to negotiate a new charter. He was able to secure the repeal of the Stamp Act, but Parliament continued to levy taxes on the colonies. In 1775, with war seemingly inevitable, Franklin returned to America. Shortly thereafter, he was made a member of the Second Continental Congress and helped draft the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson supposed stated that the only reason Franklin didn't write the entire Declaration was because he would include too many jokes.
In December, 1776, Benjamin Franklin, age 71, traveled to France to successfully negotiate a treaty of commerce and defensive alliance. He remained in France for nine years, working on trade treaties. Franklin became a hero to the French and his company was sought by diplomats and nobility. He was honored by Louis XVI and his portrait was placed on everything from chamber pots to snuff boxes.
Benjamin Franklin returned to Philadelphia in 1785. Two years later, he became a member of the Constitutional Convention. He was bedridden during the final year of his life and died on April 17, 1790. As one of his final public acts, he signed a petition to the U.S. Congress urging the abolition of slavery, just two months before his death.
Benjamin Franklin Pictures