Benjamin Franklin - Founding Father
Benjamin Franklin, often referred to as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States or the "First American" was born on January 17, 1706 to Josiah and Abiah Folger Franklin. He entered into common-law marriageto Deborah Read in 1730. Franklin fathered three children, William (illegitimate son of an unidentified mother), daughter Sarah and son, Francis Folger with wife Deborah. Francis died of smallpox at the age of four. Franklin died at the age of eighty-four on April 17, 1790 preceded in death by Deborah Read Franklin in 1774.
Reared in Boston until the age of 17 when he ran away to Philadelphia and after a few months finding job prospects unsatisfactory, moved to London where he found a job as a typesetter in a printer's shop. He later returned to Philadelphia and made numerous contributions to American culture. It is interesting to note that Franklin's formal education ended at the age of ten, however, an avid reader with a thirst for knowledge, his pursuit of continued education lasted his entire life and greatly benefitted American culture and life.
- Political Leader
- Political Writer and Satirist
- Published Poor Richard's Almanack
- Published the Pennsylvania Gazette
- First president of the American Philosophical Society
- Co-wrote the charter for the Library Company of Philadelphia
- Created the Union Fire Company - one of the first volunteer fire fighting companies in America
- Established Pennsylvania Hospital in conjunction with Dr. Thomas Bond (Pennsylvania Hospital - the first hospital of what would become the United States of America)
- Appointed a member of the Committee of Five to draft the Declaration of Independence
- Toward the end of his life he freed his slaves and became one of the most prominent abolitionists