Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)
Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston in 1706 and was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He helped to draft the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, and he also negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War.

As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rodbifocals, the first rocking chair, flexible catheter, and the Franklin stove, among other inventions. Franklin also organized the first successful American lending library. 

Franklin earned the title of “The First American” for his campaigning for the union of the colonies. He was also the first United States Ambassador to France, where he represented and promoted the emerging American nation. Franklin was key in defining the American ethos as a union of the values of hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism, with the scientific and tolerant values of the Enlightenment. 

To Walter Isaacson, this makes Franklin “the most accomplished American of his age and the most influential in inventing the type of society America would become.”

Top 50 Best Quotes From Benjamin Franklin

Declaration of Independence
Declaration of Independence

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“He that can have patience can have what he will.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned” ― Benjamin Franklin

“You may delay, but time will not.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Well done is better than well said.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Lost Time is never found again.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” ― Benjamin Franklin

$100 - Benjamin Franklin
$100 – Benjamin Franklin

“Instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”― Benjamin Franklin

“Never confuse Motion with Action.” ― Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin

“Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. 
Keep in the sunlight.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“There was never a bad peace or a good war.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“The heart of a fool is in his mouth, but the mouth of a wise man is in his heart.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“When you are finished changing, you’re finished.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“When you’re testing to see how deep water is, never use two feet.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“To find out a girl’s faults, praise her to her girlfriends.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Love your Enemies, for they tell you your Faults.” ― Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin at the printer
Benjamin Franklin at the printer

“A slip of the foot you may soon recover, but a slip of the tongue you may never get over.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Trouble knocked at the door, but, hearing laughter, hurried away” ― Benjamin Franklin

“…but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Life biggest tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Security without liberty is called prison.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Contentment makes poor men rich, Discontent makes rich men poor.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move. ” ― Benjamin Franklin

“If a man could have half of his wishes, he would double his troubles.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“Those things that hurt, instruct.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“To be humble to superiors is a duty, to equals courtesy, to inferiors nobleness.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“A Brother may not be a Friend, but a Friend will always be a Brother.” ― Benjamin Franklin

“The only thing that is more expensive than education is ignorance.” ― Benjamin Franklin


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