The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin is the traditional name for the unfinished record of his own life written by Benjamin Franklin from 1771 to 1790; however, Franklin himself appears to have called the work his Memoirs. Although it had a tortuous publication history after Franklin’s death, this work has become one of the most famous and influential examples of an autobiography ever written.

Franklin’s account of his life is divided into four parts, reflecting the different periods at which he wrote them. There are actual breaks in the narrative between the first three parts, but Part Three’s narrative continues into Part Four without an authorial break.

In the “Introduction” of the 1916 publication of the Autobiography, editor F. W. Pine wrote that Franklin’s biography provided the “most remarkable of all the remarkable histories of our self-made men” with Franklin as the greatest exemplar.

  • Author: Benjamin Franklin
  • Genres: Autobiography, Biography
  • Originally published: 1791
Best Quotes From "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin"
  • “Never confuse Motion with Action.”
  • “…there will be sleeping enough in the grave….”
  • “When the well is dry we know the value of water”
  • “Reading was the only amusement I allowed myself”
  • “He that has once done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged.”
About The Author:
Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) was an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was a leading writer, printer, political philosopher, 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 inventions.He founded many civic organizations, including the Library Company, Philadelphia’s first fire department,and the University of Pennsylvania.

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