Short Biography on Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin is called the ‘Wise man’ of America. He was a printer, a scientist, an inventor, a statesman, a philosopher, a musician, and an economist.
Franklin was one of the several children of a trader, born on 17th January 1706 in Boston. Since childhood, he had a liking for reading. He began helping his printer brother who soon started a newspaper, New England Courant, in Boston. Franklin wrote letters in it under a false name and these writings became very popular.
Later Franklin left home after differences of opinion with his brother and took a boat to reach Philadelphia. He got a job as a printer, in which he made a good name. He then went to London and worked there for some years. On his return to Philadelphia, he set up a printing business of his own. His ‘Poor Richard’s Almanac’ and its proverbs became famous. He also did a lot of work in social services like starting a circulating library, organizing the American Philosophical Society, setting up an academy, which later became the University of Pennsylvania. His writings and autobiography of the early years were critically acclaimed.
Later Franklin devoted much of his time to the study of science. He invented many practical things such as bifocal glasses, Franklin stove, glass harmonica, etc. His interest in the phenomenon of electricity led him to many experiments. In 1747 he conducted a series of experiments and recorded groundbreaking results. He found similarities between lightning and electricity; he was determined to prove that lightning is an electric current. He flew a silk kite in the thunderstorm with a metal key tied to it. The sparks on the metal showed that the lightning is an electric discharge.
After proving this he thought of protecting people and their houses from lightning. He devised a lightning rod with a sharp point to draw the electric current from the clouds and pass it to the ground without harming anything.
Franklin was a prominent personality in American politics. He held important posts at many public offices. He was one of the chief leaders of the American Revolution. He was a member of the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. Franklin was one of the finest statesmen of America. He was often sent as an ambassador to represent his country. Franklin was also the President of the Executive Council of Pennsylvania. He died on 17th April 1790.