Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706-April 17, 1790) was a politician, inventor, scientist, postmaster, author, soap maker, book printer, and diplomat. A Founding Father of the United States, he was and remains famous the world over. Many are familiar with Poor Richard's Almanac (published yearly from 1732 to 1758) and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (posthumously, 1818). He was an avid reader and mostly self-educated. At age 12, he became apprenticed to his brother, a printer. During this service he wrote several articles signed "Silence Dogood" and anonymously put them under the door of the print shop. His brother was impressed and published several of them. Franklin later published The Pennsylvania Gazette, a newspaper he partly wrote himself. As a member of the Second Continental Congress, he helped draft the Articles of Confederation, the Declaration of Independence, and the Treaty of Paris. He later served as a delegate at the Constitutional Convention. He is also well known as the inventor of the lightning rod, bifocal glasses, and the Franklin stove, among other things.