Benjamin Franklin was born January 17, 1706, to Josiah and Abiah Folger Franklin, his father’s second wife. Benjamin was one of seventeen children, and the youngest of ten sons. He lived in Massachusetts.
Because his father was an artisan of modest income with a large family to support, Josiah apprenticed all of Benjamin’s older brothers to various trades, but Benjamin was something of a child prodigy. He was a precocious reader (citing he didn’t remember when he could not read. He was enrolled in Boston’s prestigious Latin School, to prepare for entrance into Harvard and education for the ministry.
In the Latin School, Benjamin rose to the head of the class in less than a year, and was promoted before the end of the year. However, because his father felt financially unable to sustain his son through college, withdrew him from the Latin School, and placed him for one more year in a school teaching only writing and arithmetic. At the age of ten, Franklin returned home to assist his father in his candle-making trade, marking the end of his formal education. Ben did, however, continue to pursue his education.