Of all our Founding Fathers – with the exception of George Washington – the one who had the most impact on our society and its history was, without a doubt, Benjamin Franklin.
In addition to helping to draft our founding documents and shape our republic and its political history, Franklin had a profound breadth of interest and activity as a businessman, a publisher, a writer, and an inventor – of both products and societal institutions that are still operating today.
This is why the latest episode of my "Newt’s World" podcast is titled "The Immortals: Benjamin Franklin."
People sometimes forget Franklin’s importance as a Founding Father because he was never president. But make no mistake, he was just as involved in the founding of our country as Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, or any of the others.
Finally, Franklin is also a tremendously important figure because he was one of the first Americans able to rise to national prominence purely through his own merit and work ethic.
What’s remarkable about Franklin is the sheer number of things he was able to accomplish in addition to shaping our nation.
Every time you get a letter in the mail, you can thank Franklin for conceptualizing and creating the U.S. Postal Service. Any time you put on a pair of bifocal glasses to read; Franklin has had an impact on your life. Without Franklin, there would be no volunteer fire departments, no University of Pennsylvania, or no lightning rods to prevent house fires and store energy. His energy and devotion to improving life in America was breathtaking.
Finally, Franklin is also a tremendously important figure because he was one of the first Americans able to rise to national prominence purely through his own merit and work ethic. He was not an aristocrat or a member of high society, either as a British colonist or an American citizen. He was simply determined to create and succeed.
This one man’s effort sent waves that still ripple through our civilization today. Through his own grit, merit, and determination, Benjamin Franklin became immortal.
I hope you’ll listen to "The Immortals: Benjamin Franklin" and gain a greater appreciation for one of our most dynamic Founding Fathers.