Inventor, statesman, writer and notorious prankster Benjamin Franklin is often called "the first American" for his myriad contributions to life in the early United States. Can you ace our quiz on Ben?
Franklin was born in Boston in 1706.
People often assume that Franklin was one of the early presidents. Understandable, because he did just about everything else, but he was never president.
Josiah Franklin was a soap and candle maker.
Franklin was the 15th of his father's 17 kids (with two wives).
Franklin was sent to school when he was 8 and pulled out when he was 10.
A brilliant mathematician in later years, Franklin actually failed math twice.
Young Ben had dreams of being a sailor like one of his brothers, but his father wouldn't hear of it.
He went to work as a typesetter at his brother's newspaper, the New England Courant.
A teenage Franklin took on the persona of a widow named Silence Dogood and wrote 14 letters to the paper, which turned out to be wildly popular.
James wasn't too happy when he found out who Silence Dogood was, so Ben took off and escaped to Philadelphia.
Franklin didn't found the Gazette, but he and a partner bought it in 1729 and made it the most successful paper in the colonies.
"The Drinkers Dictionary" listed synonyms for "drunk" -- like "crack'd," "glaiz'd" and "pidgeon ey'd."
Franklin owned two slaves, George and King, who worked in his house. But he eventually freed them and became an abolitionist.
Franklin came up with many electricity-related terms, but telephone wasn't one of them.
Franklin considered C, J, W, Y, Q and X to be redundant letters.
Franklin lived in London and Paris for a total of 27 years, crossing the Atlantic 20 times.
Franklin studied the currents on his many trips across the ocean. He noticed the warm current flowing like "a river in the ocean" and realized that ships traveling to Europe could go much faster if they followed it.
In a letter to his daughter, Franklin wrote, "I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen as the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character…. the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird."
Franklin was made the first postmaster general of the United States.
Junto was a group of men from all different occupations that met on Friday nights.
"The Speech of Polly Baker" was an indictment of the judicial system, which persecuted unwed mothers but not men.
The character of Richard Saunders was the namesake of "Poor Richard's Almanack," which Franklin published for 25 years.
"United we stand" does apply to the situation, but that's actually Aesop, not Franklin.
The glass armonica is long out of vogue, but Franklin was very proud of it.
The French were ga-ga for the elderly Franklin's fur hats.
Franklin, John Adams, John Jay and Henry Laurens represented the United States in the Treaty of Paris negotiations.
Franklin himself had an illegitimate son, William, who was the last colonial governor of New Jersey.
By 42, Franklin had made enough money to retire, and he literally printed all of the money for Pennsylvania and Delaware. Of course, he did more in "retirement" than 99.9 percent of other people.
Franklin helped start the University of Pennsylvania and Franklin & Marshall, but not Penn State.
Franklin was quite the swimmer, covering miles of the Thames River when he lived in London and also inventing his own swim fins.