Benjamin Franklin was an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was also a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, humorist, civic activist, statesman and diplomat. As a scientist, he was a major figure in the American Enlightenment and the history of physics for his discoveries and theories regarding electricity. As an inventor, he is known for the lightning rod, bifocals, and the Franklin stove, among other great inventions. He founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia’s first fire department and the University of Pennsylvania. His colorful life and legacy of scientific and political achievement, and his status as one of America’s most influential Founding Fathers, have seen Franklin honored more than two centuries after his death. This is his story in his own words.