Benjamin Franklin Quotes From A Prominent And Witty Founding Father


Politician, writer, philosopher, scientist, humorist, inventor, and diplomat, Benjamin Franklin was a renaissance man with many wide-ranging skills. His clever wit and humor are evident among his many quoted and now common statements found throughout his life and many roles. Many American institutions that are foundations of our modern society were started by the statesman philosopher showing that his legacy is as relevant today as ever.

We know him best as one of the prominent founding fathers, but he had many other positions in life that left his mark on America and being American. In his younger years, he was a printer, where he was the editor and printer for the Philadelphia Gazette and later printed Poor Richard’s Almanac under the pen name Richard Saunders. Later, he would be linked to the Pennsylvania Chronicle that printed criticisms of British rule and life in America as a colony prior to the Revolutionary War.

Before he became a diplomat and politician, he would start the Academy and College of Philadelphia, where he was elected as the first president of the institution. Along with this, he would also organize the American Philosophical Society where again, he was elected president and was the first secretary for the group.

Benjamin Franklin quotes

Still prior to the revolution, the British named him the Postmaster-General for the colonies as he had already served as the Philadelphia Postmaster for several years. This position would carry on through the Revolutionary War and after. It allowed him to coordinate communications during the war, which was something that would contribute greatly to the American’s success during the war by allowing Franklin to facilitate communication for the revolutionaries.

In the 1750’s Franklin was a slave owner, but he abstained and became an abolitionist where he spoke out against slavery and even worked for the integration of blacks. This was one century prior to the Civil War, which made him a pioneer for the subject and started the conversations that were needed to correct slavery as an acceptable practice.

Franklin is most known for flying a kite with a key on it during a lightning storm as a scientist. It is debatable whether this event happened, but he is attributed with inventing the lightning rod from this experiment. Franklin’s other work included working with population statistics and analysis. He concluded that America was the fastest-growing population at the time and that was due to ample food supplies.

While he was Postmaster, he studied ocean currents in the North Atlantic with ship captains who were knowledgeable of the various conditions that changed throughout the year. Other scientific studies that Franklin was known for were meteorology, refrigeration and the effect of cooling, the wave theory of light, electric conductivity and the effects of temperature, and traction kiting (the pulling of objects from the use of wind power).

Benjamin Franklin quotes

Franklin’s legacy and his many contributions to many fields are so much larger and broad than can be imagined. With contributions to literature, politics, ethics, and science, he also was an artist who played the violin and guitar. It may seem impossible for one man to stand in his own shadow, but he seemed to be in a constant struggle of living within the shadow of his previous accomplishment, then overcoming that greatness with a new endeavor in a different field.

We hope you enjoy this long list of Benjamin Franklin quotes we have for you here on Clever Quotes!

  1. “He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.”
  2. “Well done is better than well said.”
  3. “Lost time is never found again.”
  4. “What you seem to be, be really.”
  5. “Search others for virtue, thyself for thy vices.”
  6. “Never ruin an apology with an excuse.”Benjamin Franklin quotes
  7. “Wish not so much as to live long as to live well.”
  8. “I didn’t fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.”
  9. “When you’re good to others, you’re best to yourself.”
  10. “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”
  11. “He that would live in peace & at ease, must not speak all he knows or judge all he sees.”
  12. “Look before, or you’ll find yourself behind.”
  13. “There never was a good war or a bad peace.”
  14. “Love your enemies, for they will tell you your faults.”Benjamin Franklin quotes
  15. “He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.”
  16. “Better to slip with foot than with tongue.”
  17. “Don’t throw stones at your neighbors if your own windows are glass.”
  18. “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is freedom, in water there is bacteria.”
  19. “No gains without pains.”
  20. “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

We hope you enjoyed this collection of Benjamin Franklin quotes. Share them with a fellow historian in your life!

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