Who Is Ben Franklin and Why Is He Significant to American History?

Benjamin Franklin is a prominent figure in American history, known for his contributions to science, literature, politics, and more. Born on January 17, 1706, in Boston, Massachusetts, he was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States of America. He played a critical role in the American Revolution and was instrumental in shaping the nation’s political landscape.

Early Life

Franklin was born to Josiah Franklin and his wife Abiah Folger. His father was a candle maker and soap maker who had seventeen children from two marriages.

Franklin attended Boston Latin School for two years and then joined his father’s business at the age of ten as an apprentice. However, he disliked the trade and ran away to Philadelphia when he was seventeen.

Scientist and Inventor

Franklin is famous for his work as a scientist and inventor. He conducted several experiments with electricity and lightning, which led to the invention of the lightning rod.

He also invented bifocal glasses, which allowed people with both nearsightedness and farsightedness to see clearly. Additionally, he invented the Franklin stove which increased fuel efficiency.


Franklin was a prolific writer who contributed significantly to American literature. He wrote Poor Richard’s Almanack under the pseudonym “Richard Saunders,” which contained many proverbs that are still used today such as “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.” Moreover, he wrote many articles in newspapers advocating for American independence.


Franklin played an important role in American politics during his lifetime. He served as a delegate from Pennsylvania to the Continental Congress where he helped draft both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. Additionally, he served as an ambassador to France where he successfully negotiated an alliance between France and America during the Revolutionary War.


Franklin’s contributions to American society are immeasurable. He is a symbol of the American dream, having come from humble beginnings and rising to great heights.

He was a man of many talents who believed in hard work, education, and civic responsibility. His legacy lives on today through his inventions, writings, and political contributions.


In summary, Benjamin Franklin was a significant figure in American history due to his contributions in science, literature, politics, and more. He was an inventor who improved people’s daily lives with his inventions like bifocal glasses and the Franklin stove.

He was a writer who inspired people with his wisdom through Poor Richard’s Almanack. He was also a politician who played a crucial role in shaping America’s political landscape. His legacy continues to inspire people today to work hard and contribute positively to their communities.