Franklin January 6, 1705 – April 17, 1790
one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. A noted polymath,
Franklin was a leading author and printer, satirist, political theorist,
politician, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, soldier and diplomat.
As a scientist, he was a major figure in the Enlightenment and the history
of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. He invented
the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and
the glass 'armonica'. He formed both the first public lending library in
America and the first fire department in Pennsylvania. He was an early proponent
of colonial unity, and as a political writer and activist, he supported the
idea of an American nation. As a diplomat during the American Revolution,
he secured the French alliance that helped to make independence of the United
Franklin is credited
as being foundational to the roots of American values and character
Success as an author
In 1733, Franklin began to publish the famous Poor Richard's Almanack (with
content both original and borrowed) under the pseudonym Richard Saunders,
on which much of his popular reputation is based. Franklin frequently wrote
under pseudonyms. Although it was no secret that Franklin was the author,
his Richard Saunders character repeatedly denied it. "Poor Richard's Proverbs,"
adages from this almanac, such as "A penny saved is twopence dear" (often
misquoted as "A penny saved is a penny earned"), "Fish and visitors stink
in three days" remain common quotations in the modern world. Wisdom in folk
society meant the ability to provide an apt adage for any occasion, and
Franklin's readers became well prepared. He sold about ten thousand copies
per year (a circulation equivalent to nearly three million today).
In 1758, the year in which he ceased writing for the Almanack, he printed
Father Abraham's Sermon, also known as The Way to Wealth. Franklin's autobiography,
published after his death, has become one of the classics of the genre.
See Benjamin Franklin Quotes on-line