Benjamin Franklin

Literary Birthday – 17 January – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was born 17 January 1706, and died 17 April 1790.


  1. Words may show a man’s wit, actions his meaning.
  2. From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books.
  3. We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.
  4. By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
  5. Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.
  6. Wars are not paid for in wartime, the bill comes later.
  7. Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
  8. A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.
  9. There never was a good war or a bad peace.
  10. If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed.
  11. If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.
  12. To cease to think creatively is to cease to live.

Benjamin Franklin was an American author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. He invented the lightning rod, bifocals, the Franklin stove, a carriage odometer, and the glass ‘armonica’. He became wealthy publishing Poor Richard’s Almanack and The Pennsylvania Gazette. He initially wrote The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin to guide his son. The book gives an insight into his unique and eventful life.

Source for image Joseph-Siffred Duplessis, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 17th January 2014