Benjamin Franklin quotes Happy Birthday facts | The Old Farmer's Almanac

Happy Birthday, Benjamin Franklin!

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Library of Congress

Celebrate Ben's Birthday with an Assortment of Facts and History

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Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706. To celebrate his birthday, here are some facts and quotes about the legendary man. Happy Birthday, Ben!

About Ben

Franklin was not only a world-renowned statesman, inventor, and scientist, but also was fascinated by agriculture and is considered the father of the modern almanac. 

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, which was at that time a British colony. His father came from England to the Colonies in 1682. He was a candle and soap maker in Boston.

Before he became involved in politics, Franklin learned the trade of printing in Boston and eventually set up his own printing shop in Philadelphia. Later, he served as postmaster of Philadelphia and became the first postmaster general of the United States in 1775.

Politically, Benjamin Franklin was an admired statesman and thinker. He is the only person who signed all four of the documents that helped to create the United States: the Declaration of Independence (1776); the Treaty of Alliance, Amity, and Commerce with France (1778); the Treaty of Peace between England, France, and the United States (1782); and the Constitution (1787). In fact, he helped to write parts of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

Father of the Modern Almanac

Benjamin Franklin’s portrait is on the front of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, as we honor Ben as the father of the modern almanac.

His best known work is Poor Richard’s Almanack, a yearly publication that he published in the American colonies from 1732 to 1758 under the pseudonym Richard Saunders. Though there were many almanacs at the time, Franklin’s almanac was a best-seller, thanks to his wit and wisdom.

In recognition, the portrait of Benjamin Franklin was added to the cover of The Old Farmer’s Almanac in 1851, appearing opposite the portrait of founder Robert B. Thomas. It has remained there ever since.

Read more about this Almanac cover and Benjamin Franklin’s appearance.


Benjamin Franklin Facts

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Benjamin Franklin was a very interesting person. Did you know…

  • Benjamin Franklin was one of 17 children! He was the youngest son.
  • When he was a school boy, Ben wanted to be a sailor, despite his father’s disapproval.
  • Yes, Benjamin Franklin did eventually marry! His wife, Deborah, is buried next to him in the cemetery of Christ Church, Philadelphia.
  • Ben had three children and eight grandchildren.
  • Benjamin Franklin’s long list of inventions include the odometer, bifocals, and swim fins. He loved to swim!
  • Benjamin Franklin has been honored in 14 different halls of fame.
  • Benjamin Franklin is on the front of the $100 bill.

Words of Wisdom from Ben Franklin

  • “Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.”
  • “Make haste slowly.”
  • “The best investment is in the tools of one’s own trade.”
  • “He that teaches himself hath a fool for a master.”
  • “An egg today is better than a hen tomorrow.”
  • “Think of these things: whence you came, where you are going, and to whom you must account.”
  • “Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments.”
  • “None but the well-bred man knows how to confess a fault, or acknowledge himself in an error.”
  • “The discontented man finds no easy chair.”

What else have you heard about Benjamin Franklin? Let us know in the comments below.

Now learn more about the life and times of Almanac founder Robert B. Thomas!

2023 Almanac Club