Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Ben Franklin

One of the Founding Fathers of the United States 

Benjamin Franklin is one of history’s great figures. While he made lasting contributions in many fields, his first passion was writing. He believed in the power of the written word as the bedrock of a democratic society to inform and stimulate debate.

For nearly sixteen years between 1757 and 1775, Franklin lived at 36 Craven Street in the heart of London, England. He is one of history’s great polymaths – a diplomat, patriot, scientist, inventor, philosopher and more. He was one of the first American journalists, writing prolifically not only on politics and foreign affairs, but on science, the arts and society.

It is believed to be Ben Franklin who first said that “Honesty is the best policy”.  Franklin was a man who through-out his substantive 84 years demonstrated ‘honesty’ and ‘integrity’ over and over again. Working with other historic figures such as George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, Franklin was elected to the Second Continental Congress and worked on a committee of five that helped to draft America’s “Declaration of Independence”; although much of the writing is said to be that of Thomas Jefferson’s, a vast amount of the contribution is known to be that of Benjamin Franklin’s.

Even though people sometimes say that Franklin discovered electricity, this actually is not true. People were quite aware of electricity before Franklin sent a kite into a thundercloud, but what they didn’t know was that lightning is electricity — extra big static electricity. What Franklin did was to devise a simple test to determine whether lightning was electricity and thus, his famous kite experiment was born. Unfortunately, other people attempted to conduct the same test and ended up getting killed by electrocution.

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