He was a prolific author, political theorist, politician, printer, scientist, inventor, civic activist, and a diplomat.
As a scientist, he was a major figure for his discoveries regarding electricity.
As a political writer and activist, he stood out for developing the idea of an American nation.
During the early part of his life he was a slave owner and even advertised rewards for runaway slaves in his newspaper, the Pennsylvania Gazette. It was not until his later years that he became an abolitionist and founded an anti-slavery society.