Who was Ben Franklin? – Benjamin Franklin Historical Society

Information about benjamin franklin

Benjamin Franklin was an American scientist, inventor, politician, philanthropist, and businessman. he is best known as the only founding father to sign all three documents that freed the united states from great britain. Franklin is credited with writing the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution. He also negotiated the Treaty of Paris that ended the War of Independence against Great Britain.

born into a middle-class family, he was the 15th of 17 children and the youngest son. with only 2 years of formal education he rose to the highest level of society. he never forgot where he started and always referred to himself as “b.f. of Philadelphia, printer” as in the opening of his will. he had the talent to be at ease with any company, from merchants to academics, merchants and the European elite.

Unlike the other founding fathers, Franklin started out as a craftsman, with minimal formal education, and was the architect of his own fortune. he was a self-made man who represented American social mobility through frugality and industriousness. According to historian Perry Miller, Benjamin Franklin has become the most “massively symbolic” figure in American history.

public servant

He strove to improve himself by cultivating personal virtues and assuming public projects for the benefit of society. One of her first public projects was to organize a block watch and raise money to pave and clean the streets of Philadelphia. Her projects gradually became more ambitious and included the creation of pension and insurance companies and the provision of social assistance to widows. she helped build the university of pennsylvania to educate middle-class children. She raised funds to build the nation’s first hospital, the Pennsylvania Hospital, for those who could not afford care and institutions for the mentally disabled. the nation’s first lending library and the union fire company were among his other contributions. this was long before governments began providing services to their citizens.


Benjamin Franklin was also a scientist. he proved by flying a kite that lighting was electricity and invented a rod to prevent it from hitting buildings. He invented bifocal glasses, charted the Gulf Stream, invented a clean-burning stove, and proposed theories about the contagiousness of the common cold. his approach was more practical than theoretical. training him as a craftsman made him more skilled as an inventor.


As a journalist, his most important journalistic influence was his brother James, who is considered the first fighter for journalistic freedom in America. Franklin wrote: “Printers are brought up to believe that when men differ in opinion, both parties should have the equal advantage of being heard by the public, and that when truth and error have a fair game, the former is always superior to the other”. last”. This legacy is framed and hangs on the walls of many newsrooms across America.


Franklin was an ambitious, disciplined, and industrious entrepreneur who worked hard late into the night. he cultivated the appearance and reputation of him “take care not only to be really hardworking and frugal but to avoid all appearance to the contrary.” he used the skills he had learned to open his own printing business. He acquired the Pennsylvania Gazette from his previous employer and created Poor Richard’s Almanac.


as a politician he was the first to propose the union of the colonies for the common defense. he was accused of being a monarchist but when the time came he defended freedom becoming one of the founding fathers. Franklin negotiated the end of the war with England and was one of the signatories of the Treaty of Paris. He was chosen to represent the union as Prime Minister Plenipotentiary in France, the equivalent of the current ambassador.

Benjamin Franklin’s genius centers on using his business network and social connections. he tapped into this network to benefit his range of interests, from science and politics to business and journalism. he was against slavery as an institution. for part of his life he had the usual prejudices against African-Americans, but realized that they were “in all respects the same” as his own.

Benjamin Franklin died at the age of 84, on April 17, 1790. The cause of his death was empyema caused by attacks of pleurisy, which he had suffered earlier in his life. During his later years, Franklin’s health gradually declined. he suffered from gout and had a large kidney stone that confined him to bed.

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