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You are holding the only modern adaptation of Benjamin Franklin’s 18th century autobiography. It is at its heart one of the greatest business stories ever told. The most versatile Founding Father was a husband, a father, a writer, an inventor, a statesman, a fundraiser and a military leader. But in his mind, he was first and foremost a businessman.
Franklin’s captivating adventures include his almost single-handed responsibility for establishing the first media empire, the first public library, the first fire brigade, the University of Pennsylvania, the first book club and the first franchise—all of which are detailed within these pages with Franklin’s characteristic mix of humility and pride.
Franklin chronicles his own story, from his early days growing up in colonial Boston to his retirement from printing and growing involvement in national politics. It was during these years that he honed his management and leadership skills, acquired a fervent distaste for tyranny of all types, embraced a strong set of morals, and developed an uncompromising work ethic.
From the moment he fled his tyrannical master and set himself up as a printer in Philadelphia, all who came into contact with Franklin recognized his destiny. His wisdom transcends the ages—and his life lessons are insights are as compelling today as ever.
Blaine McCormick, associate dean at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, is a nationally recognized expert on Benjamin Franklin. He has been interviewed by the New York Times, CNN, and Peter Jennings and is the author of Ben Franklin’s 12 Rules of Management.