Rising from humble origins, Benjamin Franklin became one of the most famous figures in colonial North America. Often remembered for his political and scientific activities, he was also an incredibly successful entrepreneur, whose print and publishing businesses made him one of the wealthiest individuals of his day.

The 15th of 17 children of a Boston candlemaker, Benjamin Franklin started working for his father at age 10. Franklin had received only two years of formal schooling and spent much of his meager salary on books to educate himself. His career in publishing began at the ...

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