Born on January 17, 1706 Franklin was the tenth child of a soap maker. Benjamin was slated to enter into the clergy but he apprenticed to his brother James who was a printer. He help James compose pamphlets, set type and sell the pamphlets in the streets. He worked with his brother on the New England Courant and wrote letters under the name Silence Dogood. He slipped these articles under the newspaper door at night and published them by day. They were a hit and no one knew who had written them until Franklin confessed. In 1723 Franklin left the paper and his brother and moved to Philadelphia.
He did well as a printer, eventually married Deborah Read, ran a shop and a book store. In 1729 Franklin bought the Pennsylvania Gazette and contributed pieces to the paper. It is very successful and printed the first political cartoon, authored by Franklin. He started Poor Richard's Almanac in 1733 and many of his witticisms became a part of everyday life. Franklin worked for environmental clean-up and lighting the streets of Philadelphia. He launched the Library Company in 1731 that pooled resources so members could afford to purchase books from England. He launched the American philosophical Society in 1743 and formed the Pennsylvania Hospital in 1751. 1736 saw the organizations of Philadelphia Union Fire Company and the Philadelphia Contribution for Insurance opened.
When 1749 rolled around Franklin retired from businesses and began experimenting and inventing He had invented a heat efficient stove, invented swim fins, and bifocals. In 1750 he studied electricity and his famous kit experiment verified the nature of electricity.
In the 1750s Franklin became interested in politics and in 1757 he represented Pennsylvania in its fight against England for descendants of the Penn family. He stayed in England until 1775 as a colonial representative. Franklin considered himself an Englishman, but in 1765 he helped persuade the members of Parliament to repeal the Stamp Tax. In 1754 he started working earnestly to free America from England. He was elected to the Second Continental Congress and worked on a committee of five to draft the Declaration of Independence. Much of the writing is from Thomas Jefferson, but much of the writing came from Ben Franklin. In 1776 Franklin signed the Declaration and sailed to France as an ambassador the Court of Louis XVI. Due to Franklin, France signed a Treaty of Alliance with America in 1778. He secured loans and was there to sign the Treaty of Paris in 1783 after American won her freedom. His last public duty was penning an anti-slavery dissertation in 1789. Franklin died on April 17, 1790. He was 84.
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