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Benjamin Franklin
FRS, FRSE

Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Duplessis 1778.jpg
Benjamin Franklin by Joseph Duplessis, 1778

6th President of Pennsylvania

In officeOctober 18, 1785 – November 5, 1788

Vice President

Charles BiddlePeter MuhlenbergDavid Redick

Preceded by

John Dickinson

Succeeded by

Thomas Mifflin

United States Minister to Sweden

In officeSeptember 28, 1782 – April 3, 1783

Appointed by

Congress of the Confederation

Preceded by

Position established

Succeeded by

Jonathan Russell

United States Minister to France

In officeMarch 23, 1779 – May 17, 1785

Appointed by

Continental Congress

Preceded by

Position established

Succeeded by

Thomas Jefferson

1st United States Postmaster General

In officeJuly 26, 1775 – November 7, 1776

Preceded by

Position established

Succeeded by

Richard Bache

Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly

In officeMay 1764 – October 1764

Preceded by

Isaac Norris

Succeeded by

Isaac Norris

Personal details

Born

January 17, 1706 Boston, Massachusetts Bay, British America

Died

April 17, 1790 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Political party

Independent

Spouse

Deborah Read ( m.   1730 ; died 1774)

Children

WilliamFrancisSarah

Relatives

Josiah FranklinAbiah Folger

Signature

Benjamin Franklin FRS FRSE was an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, 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. He founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia's first fire department and the University of Pennsylvania.

Franklin earned the title of "The First American" for his early and indefatigable campaigning for colonial unity, initially as an author and spokesman in London for several colonies. As the first United States Ambassador to France, he exemplified the emerging American nation. Franklin was foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment. In the words of historian Henry Steele Commager, "In a Franklin could be merged the virtues of Puritanism without its defects, the illumination of the Enlightenment without its heat." To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin "the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become."

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Discover Benjamin Franklin Quotes and Sayings

The way to see by faith, is to shut the eye of reason. - Benjamin Franklin

The way to see by faith, is to shut the eye of reason.

Benjamin Franklin

religion reason faith
From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books. - Benjamin Franklin

From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books.

Benjamin Franklin

books reading self improvement
Saving is another form of earning. - Benjamin Franklin

Saving is another form of earning.

Benjamin Franklin

money finance
Well done, is better than well said. - Benjamin Franklin

Well done, is better than well said.

Benjamin Franklin

productivity
Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship. - Benjamin Franklin

Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.

Benjamin Franklin

money finance
Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today. - Benjamin Franklin

Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.

Benjamin Franklin

energy procrastination
A spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar. - Benjamin Franklin

A spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar.

Benjamin Franklin

wisdom
Lost time is never found again, and what we call time enough always proves little enough. Let us then be up and doing, and doing to a purpose. - Benjamin Franklin

Lost time is never found again, and what we call time enough always proves little enough. Let us then be up and doing, and doing to a purpose.

Benjamin Franklin

procrastination
Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75. - Benjamin Franklin

Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.

Benjamin Franklin

living
At twenty years of age the will reigns; at thirty, the wit and at forty, the judgment. - Benjamin Franklin

At twenty years of age the will reigns; at thirty, the wit and at forty, the judgment.

Benjamin Franklin

age
To Follow by faith alone is to follow blindly. - Benjamin Franklin

To Follow by faith alone is to follow blindly.

Benjamin Franklin

alone faith
Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame. - Benjamin Franklin

Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.

Benjamin Franklin

anger
Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one. - Benjamin Franklin

Anger is never without a reason, but seldom with a good one.

Benjamin Franklin

anger good
Marriage is the most natural state of man, and... the state in which you will find solid happiness. - Benjamin Franklin

Marriage is the most natural state of man, and... the state in which you will find solid happiness.

Benjamin Franklin

anniversary happiness marriage
The art of acting consists in keeping people from coughing. - Benjamin Franklin

The art of acting consists in keeping people from coughing.

Benjamin Franklin

art
Beauty and folly are old companions. - Benjamin Franklin

Beauty and folly are old companions.

Benjamin Franklin

beauty