Thursday, May 8, 2008

Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the U.S.

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 [O.S. January 6, 1706] – April 17, 1790) was 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 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 a musical instrument. He formed both the first public lending library in America and first fire department in Pennsylvania. He was an early proponent of colonial unity and as a political writer and activist he, more than anyone, invented the idea of an American nation and as a diplomat during the American Revolution, he secured the French alliance that helped to make independence possible.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Franklin learned printing from his older brother and became a newspaper editor, printer, and merchant in Philadelphia, becoming very wealthy, writing and publishing Poor Richard's Almanack and the Pennsylvania Gazette. Franklin was interested in science and technology, and gained international renown for his famous experiments. He played a major role in establishing the University of Pennsylvania and Franklin & Marshall College and was elected the first president of the American Philosophical Society. Franklin became a national hero in America when he spearheaded the effort to have Parliament repeal the unpopular Stamp Act. An accomplished diplomat, he was widely admired among the French as American minister to Paris and was a major figure in the development of positive Franco-American relations. From 1775 to 1776, Franklin was Postmaster General under the Continental Congress and from 1785 to 1788 was President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania. Toward the end of his life, he became one of the most prominent abolitionists.

Franklin's colorful life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, and status as one of America's most influential Founding Fathers, has seen Franklin honored on coinage and money; warships; the names of many towns, counties, educational institutions, namesakes, and companies; and more than two centuries after his death, countless cultural references.


Benjamin Franklin has offered a lot a great advice on many differing topics over his lifetime and can be learned from. Below are excerpts from Money Advice from Benjamin Franklin, the website details 78 pieces of gathered advice from this very successful man. The top 10 in each section are listed below.

Motivation and Utility:
  1. Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise
  2. Diligence is the mother of good luck
  3. God helps them that help themselves
  4. Sloth, like rust, consumes faster than labor wears, while the used key is always bright
  5. Dost thou love life, then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of
  6. Lost time is never found again
  7. He that riseth late, must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night
  8. Drive thy business, let not that drive thee
  9. Industry need not wish
  10. He that lives upon hope will die fasting
Lessons learned from his words:
  • Do your research
  • Staying busy will tire you less than simply sitting around
  • Do not waste time, every second is precious and cannot be taken back
  • If you start sometime late, you must work harder than the next guy to win
  • Be in control your life, don't let your life control you

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