Before you say anything, tweet anything, or comment—yes, he really was President. No, not of the United States, but of the great state of Pennsylvania. Before there was any such thing as a U.S. president, he served as the sixth commander-in-chief of the colony and possessed the lofty title “President of Pennsylvania” and not “Governor,” though he had “Prevost” and not “President” while at UPenn.
Though never the Commander-In-Chief of the nation, President Franklin, the $100 man—deemed 20 times more valuable than President Lincoln by the US Bureau of Engraving and Printing—was America’s greatest polymath and owner of one of the sharpest wits of the 18th century.
Here’s some of his not so presidential, presidential wisdom.
1. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
2. “Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy.”
3. “Beware of the young doctor and the old barber.”
4. “He that displays too often his wife and his wallet is in danger of having both of them borrowed.”
5. “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
6. “The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”
7. “He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals.”
8. “Well done is better than well said.”
9. “Admiration is the daughter of ignorance.”
10. “Never confuse motion with action.”
11. “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
12. “To succeed, jump as quickly at opportunities as you do at conclusions.”
13. “Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.”
14. “I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.”
15. “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”
16. “One today is worth two tomorrows.”
17. “I’m President Franklin. That’s right, of Pennsylvania. Still counts, I’m on the $100 bill, bitches.” (Probably.)
PRESIDENT BEN FRANKLIN’S 17 GREATEST QUOTES