Benjamin Franklin ran away at seventeen with barely a penny in his pocket. Through hard work and his own genius, he made a life for himself in the printing trade, and was able to retire at the age of 42. He then spent the next 42 years of his life, from 1748 to 1790, pursuing his scientific and philosophic inquiries and doing all he could—and this was a very great deal—to benefit his city, state, country, and world. By the time of his death, he was one of the most famous people in the world.

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