In his biography of Benjamin Franklin, Walter Isaacson makes a case that Franklin was one of the greatest people who ever lived, anywhere at any time.

Franklin rose from poverty to become a successful businessman, writer, publisher, journalist, diplomat, statesman, politician, and political philosopher. Success in any one of those fields could get him a couple of statues. Franklin succeeded in all.

Franklin was a leader in building a government that has lasted longer than any other extant today. No other major nation today is still using the government it had in the 18th Century.

Franklin was also a legitimate scientific genius.

And as a friend points out, Franklin invented technology that is still in use today: his stove, lightning rod and bifocals.

Also, Franklin invented swim fins, the urinary catheter and a musical instrument called the armonica. The last invention is not still in use much today, but it’s lovely.

Mitch Wagner @MitchWagner