STORIES
Community Heroes

Benjamin Franklin

by Christopher Ryan Harris from Roseville, California

"Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead."-Benjamin Franklin

In my opinion, a hero has three essential qualities. One is the ability to have awareness for his/her community. Second, they need to be able to be determined. Lastly, they need to show faith. I think that Benjamin Franklin is an excellent example of all three of these qualities. He was an outspoken community leader, and helped create many establishments that still stand today. Benjamin had such humble beginnings, and as a young boy aspired to become something great. He changed many people's lives, including mine. If I ever get the chance to inspire people like Benjamin Franklin did, I would be very happy.




An artists rendering of the great intellect, Benjamin Franklin.

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706. He was the tenth son of the soap maker, Josiah Franklin. In his early teens, he apprenticed for his brother, who was a printer. His main job was to sell his brothers papers on the streets. But Benjamin wanted more than that, he wanted to be a writer in the newspaper. Benjamin did not want his brother to know he was writing in the paper so he wrote under the name "silence do-good". Benjamin then moved to New York. He started apprenticing again. But he soon realized that he was a better entrepreneur and businessman than the man he was apprenticing for, so he started his own printing company. People noticed this up and coming young man and he became exponentially more popular. In the year 1730, he married his childhood sweetheart, Deborah Read. Soon after that he organized the Junto, a working man's group dedicated to civic and self improvement. He wanted to continue his writing career, so he published Poor Richard's Almanac, under the guise of a man named Richard Saunders. The almanac contained witty aphorisms and lively writing. I think that the chief accomplishment of this era in his life is when Benjamin helped organize the Library Company in 1731. At the time, books were only available to the richest of the rich. But the Library Company made books available to people who could not afford them.

      
      A bust of Benjamin Franklin.

I could not mention Benjamin Franklin without mentioning his political career. Benjamin became more actively interested in politics in the early 1760's. Benjamin was then elected to the Second Continental Congress and worked on the committee of five that helped draft the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin signed the Declaration of Independence in the year of 1776. After signing this document, he became the president of the Executive Council of Pennsylvania. During his term as president of the Executive Council, he also served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. One of Benjamin's last public appearances was signing the anti-slavery treaty in 1789. Benjamin Franklin died on April 17th, 1790, at the ripe old age of 84. 20,000 people attended the funeral of the man who was called the "harmonious multitude".

 
The Founding Fathers during the sweltering and uncomfortable Constitutional Convention.

I feel that Benjamin Franklin made a very significant impact on his community. He helped change so many lives and I feel that Benjamin was one of the most influential figures in the early American/colonial era. He accomplished so many great feats. Benjamin Franklin fits my definition of a hero because first of all, he helped his community Second of all, he showed determination. And lastly, he showed faith. Benjamin accomplished all of his goals with a sense of awareness, determination, and faith. Benjamin inspired me to an extent that I will never forget.

One of Benjamin's publications,  "Poor Richards Almanac".

Benjamin Franklin is really a genuine and true hero. He achieved so many astonishing feats throughout his life. He changed many lives, and I feel that he has not been recognized for his aforementioned feats. Benjamin did something truly amazing, but he did not get recognized. Benjamin should not be known for more than just a face on the one hundred dollar bill, he should be known for an intelligent civic and community leader. I hope that after you have read this essay, you will realize the true magnitude of what Benjamin Franklin has done.

One of the greatest inventors, thinkers, and scholars ever to walk this earth.

Page created on 11/5/2012 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 11/5/2012 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.