About Ben Franklin

Benjamin Franklin is very important to American History. He was one of the country’s founding fathers. He helped create the Declaration of Independence, and was there to sign it. He was also the one who discovered electricity. These are just some of the many achievements throughout his life.

Benjamin was born in Boston on January 17, 1706. He was the fifteenth child in his family and the youngest son. Ben’s father was a soap and candle maker. His family was not wealthy, but his father wanted Ben to go to school. His father paid for Ben to go to school for two years, but most of his learning came from reading. When Ben was 12 he became an apprentice for his brother as a printer. During his apprenticeship, Ben published 14 essays in the New England Courant. Five years later Ben left his apprenticeship without permission and became a fugitive, of sorts.

At age 17 Ben ran away to find a new start in a new city. He found himself in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ben worked for some printing shops for awhile but was not satisfied. At age 21 he started a group called “Junto”. This group was for men who wanted to improve their lives and their community by reading and learning. Books were hard to come by in those days so the group came up with an idea, and started the first library in 1731. Ben soon became well educated and was well respected as a scientist and statesman. He gradually climbed the social ladder.

In 1730 Ben married a woman named Deborah Read. Together they had a daughter and a son. By this time Ben considered himself financially independent.

Ben was an inventor of many things. Some of the things he invented were the lightning rod, bifocal glasses and a flexible urinary catheter. In 1743 Ben created the American Philosophical Society. This was a place where scientific men would come and share their thoughts and inventions.

His talents didn’t stop at science; he was also very musical. He composed music and played several instruments. The instruments he played were the violin, the harp, and the guitar.

Ben liked to learn and expand his mind. He was interested in helping his community too. In 1736 Ben established the Union Fire Company. This was the first volunteer firefighting company. In 1751 Ben and a doctor named Dr. Thomas Bond worked together to establish the first hospital in the United States, called Pennsylvania Hospital. He was even appointed to jobs like Justice of the Peace, and he was head of the Albany Congress.

In November 1785 he was elected Governor of Pennsylvania. He was governor for 3 years.

The most important thing that Benjamin Franklin did was serve as one of the five men who drafted the Declaration of Independence. This is a document that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Before he died, the final thing that he did for the public was sign a document for the dissolution of slavery. In 1870, when he was 84 years old, Ben Franklin died.

Benjamin Franklin is important to United States history. He helped improve society and promote education. He was a man who was determined to become more than just a common man. He pushed himself to learn, and he helped others along the way to see their full potential. He is one of many men that will never be forgotten.


Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "About Ben Franklin." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 5 Jul. 2007. Web. 22 Sep. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/go/206/about-ben-franklin/ >.

Learn more with these Ben Franklin websites.



Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life
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The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (Dover Thrift Editions)
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