Known as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin has had an immeasurable influence on American life. Part of the reason for Franklin’s influence is that he was a jack of all trades — politician, author, diplomat, postmaster, and scientist. Franklin invented bifocals and although he didn’t invent electricity, he helped us learn more about it. For Franklin, knowledge was not only power, but value.
Fast Facts about Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790):
- In addition to his other accolades, Franklin was the first postmaster general of the United States.
- He was devoted to his job. Franklin’s (common law) wife Deborah Read had a fear of ocean voyages and never accompanied him on extended trips to Europe; when she died of a stroke in December 1774, Franklin returned to the United States three months later.
- Franklin could provide his own soundtrack — he played the violin, harp, and guitar.