Benjamin Franklin Net Worth – How Wealthy Was the American Scientist?

Benjamin Franklin was an American scientist, inventor, author, diplomat, and statesman. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, 

Benjamin Franklin Net Worth

Benjamin Franklin’s net worth at the time of his death was $350,000 or $10 million today. 

As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove. He founded many civic organizations as well. He was an accomplished diplomat and played a major role in establishing America’s relations with other nations.

Franklin was one of the leading intellectuals of his time and was a huge part of the American Enlightenment from the 18th to 19th century.

Personal Life

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706, on Milk Street, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was baptized at the Old South Meeting House. His father was Josiah Franklin, was a soaper, tallow chandler, and candlemaker. His father was born in Northamptonshire, England. Benjamin’s mother was named Abiah Folger.

He attended Boston Latin School but did not finish his studies. He continued his learning through reading. Benjamin stopped attending school when he was 10. At 12, he worked for his brother James, who’s a printer. When he was 15, he founded The New-England Courant, one of the first American newspapers. Franklin left his apprenticeship at his brother’s printing shop.

At 17, Benjamin moved to Philadelphia, where he worked in several printing shops. When he was 21,  Franklin formed the Junto, which is a group of “like-minded aspiring artisans and tradesmen who hoped to improve themselves while they improved their community.” 

Professional Career

Franklin thought of the idea of having a subscription library. This became the Library Company of Philadelphia. He hired the first American librarian named Louis Timothee.  He set up a printing house with Hugh Meredith in 1728. The following year, he became the publisher of the newspaper “The Pennsylvania Gazette.”

In 1733, Benjamin Franklin started to publish “Poor Richard’s Almanack” using the pseudonym Richard Saunders. He then published “Father Abraham’s Sermon” also known as “The Way to Wealth” in 1758.

Franklin founded the Union Fire Company, one of the first volunteer firefighting companies in the USA in 1736. In 1743, he established the American Philosophical Society which is an organization for men to tackle their discoveries and theories. He began his own scientific research at that time. 

He became involved in Philadelphia politics. He was selected as a councilman in 1748. He became a justice of the peace for Philadelphia in 1749, and in 1751, Franklin became a part of the Pennsylvania Assembly. He was appointed deputy postmaster-general of British North America on August 10, 1753. He became the Ambassador to France from 1776 to 1785.

He suffered from multiple health problems during his later years. Benjamin Franklin died from a pleuritic attack on April 17, 1790.

Was Benjamin Franklin Married?

When he was 17, Franklin proposed to 15-year-old Deborah Read. He established a common-law marriage with Deborah on September 1, 1730. They had two children together. Francis Folger Franklin, who was born in October 1732 and died of smallpox in 1736,  and Sarah “Sally” Franklin, who was born in 1743. 

Benjamin Franklin also had an illegitimate son with an unknown woman. His son was William Franklin. Benjamin and Deborah raised him.

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