Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was one of the most celebrated of America's Founding Fathers, a man who enjoyed success as an inventor, scientist, printer, politician, and diplomat. He helped to draft both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
Like his fellow Pennsylvania delegate Benjamin Rush, Franklin was a member of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. While most others attempted to avoid the issue and any debate over it, he was one of the few men at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 to take a public stand against slavery. Having returned to America just two years earlier, Franklin presided over the Pennsylvania delegation to the Convention at the ripe young age of eighty-one. As the convention's oldest delegate, he was also one of the 26 delegates (out of 55) who never attended college; George Washington was another.