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Benjamin Franklin"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins" - Benjamin Franklin

Born in Boston in 1706, Benjamin Franklin was a man of many talents. Despite having little formal schooling, he wrote and published newspapers and books, conducted scientific experiments, came up with new inventions, was a statesman and diplomat and, of course, had an integral role in the formation of the United States of America.

After working for his father as a candle maker, he was apprenticed to his older brother James in his print shop, but the brothers did not get along so Franklin left for Philadelphia where he found work at print shops and, having established his own shop, began to publish The Pennsylvania Gazette in 1730, writing many of the articles himself. The Gazette and the almanac that he published every year for many years (Poor Richard's Almanac) made him quite rich.

By the late 1740s, Franklin was devoting much of his time to science, with a particular interest in electricity. Among other inventions, he is credited with creating the lightning rod, bifocals, a particularly efficient stove known as the Franklin stove, and an odometer for use in carriages. He was also responsible for forming the first public library in America and establishing the first fire department. In addition, he played a major role in establishing the University of Pennsylvania, Franklin & Marshall College, and the American Philosophical Society, of which he was first president.

As an early proponent of colonial unity, he spearheaded the effort to have the British parliament repeal the unpopular Stamp Act and, it could be said, invented the idea of an American nation through his writings and activism; and, by securing an alliance with the French, helped make independence possible. Later in life, he became a prominent abolitionist. He died in 1790


More quotes by Benjamin Franklin

A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.

A penny saved is a penny earned.

A place for everything, everything in its place.

Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

Beware the hobby that eats.

Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.

Half a truth is often a great lie.

If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.

In general, mankind, since the improvement of cookery, eats twice as much as nature requires.

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.

Many people die at twenty five and aren't buried until they are seventy five.

Rather go to bed with out dinner than to rise in debt.

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.

The U. S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.

Time is money.

Wars are not paid for in wartime, the bill comes later.

We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.

When in doubt, don't.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

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