The Net Worth Of Benjamin Franklin, One Of The Richest Americans Of All Time

Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images

One of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin is also one of the richest Americans in the country's history. He first started building his fortune at the age of 23, working as the newspaper editor and printer for the Pennsylvania Gazette. Franklin bought the Gazette along with Hugh Meredith. From there, Franklin became the first president of the Academy and College of Philadelphia and was the first United States postmaster general.

In 1785, Franklin became the governor of Pennsylvania and continued to serve America for the rest of his life, leaving a great legacy behind. Today his likeness is printed on the $100 bill and the fifty-cent piece. We might assume that anyone whose face is printed on legal tender must have a good amount of money themselves. This is certainly true in the case of Benjamin Franklin.

The same year that he took office as governor, Franklin became the richest person in America. According to Forbes, Franklin's net worth was an estimated $10.3 billion after adjusting for inflation. Before he died, Franklin set up The Benjamin Franklin Fund in Philadelphia and another in Boston. These trust funds for his fortune were established to benefit people who were "most likely to make good citizens." This primarily included artisans and apprentices. The funds have grown considerably today, and they have Benjamin Franklin to thank for that.