He only had two years of formal education.
He spent whatever money he earned on books and would hone his memory skills by reading essays and then rewriting them without looking.
Despite the lack of hours in the classroom, he earned honorary degrees from Harvard, Yale and several other top institutions.Wikimedia Commons
He "retired" at the age of 42.
By 1785, he was the richest person in America.
But he could have been a lot richer if he wanted to.
Because of this, other tinkerers were free to work and improve on Franklin’s designs which sometimes allowed for significant technological advances taking place in a short amount of time.Wikimedia Commons
His secret identity was a woman named Silence Dogood.
Dogood became wildly popular and Franklin only revealed her true identity after she received several marriage proposal letters. Wikimedia Commons
He wasn't into the whole "revolution" idea at first.
"Every encroachment on rights is not worth a rebellion," he once said.Getty Images
His son was a British loyalist.
William (pictured) remained a loyal Tory and refused to resign from his position as royal governor of New Jersey. For that, he'd spend two years in colonial prison and get cut out of his dad's will. Wikimedia Commons
He started the first volunteer fire department in America.
He almost died trying to electrocute a turkey.
On one occasion, Franklin decided to show off his method at a party. He brought out the doomed bird and started setting up the charge when, all of a sudden, the attendees saw a bright flash of light engulf him. He had electrocuted himself, although in a later letter to his brother he confessed that his ego sustained the biggest injury. Getty Images
He was a great wingman.
Franklin also wrote an essay titled “Fart Proudly."
He was a champion chess player.
He brought the sport to America and wrote "The Morals of Chess."Wikimedia Commons
He was never president.
He was, however, the governor of Pennsylvania, the ambassador to France and Sweden, and the first ever U.S. Postmaster General. Wikimedia Commons
He was a great swimmer.
He even invented hand flippers to go faster. Wikimedia Commons
Franklin was a fashion icon.
The Parisians loved it and women across the country could soon be seen in fur caps and big wigs in a style dubbed "coiffure a la Franklin."Getty Images
He perfected the glass harmonica.
Either way, it was Franklin’s creation that became popular and remained the blueprint for all future glass harmonica designs. Some of the biggest composers of all time—like Beethoven, Strauss and Mozart—composed pieces for this instrument.Wikimedia Commons
He spent his later years as a devoted abolitionist.
He presented an abolitionist petition to Congress in 1790 and included a provision in his will that his daughter (pictured) had to free her slave to get her inheritance. Wikimedia Commons
He was a smarty pants even after death.
He stipulated that the money had to be placed in a trust for 200 years. So by the time the cities gained access to it, it was worth a total of $6.5 million. Getty Images
He lived his life according to 13 rules.
He wanted to change the alphabet.
He liked to take air baths.
He liked to get philosophical over drinks.
The Junto is where Franklin would come up with some of his best civic ideas like founding a public hospital, a lending library, the first American volunteer fire department and even the University of Pennsylvania.Getty Images
Benjamin Franklin, one of the most revered figures in American history, remains one of its most fascinating as well.
Franklin enjoyed a long life filled with countless achievements and colorful adventures. A true polymath, throughout the course of his life he worked in everything from politics to business to science to literature.
Thus it comes as no surprise that someone with such a distinguished life and career has so many fascinating stories to tell. In the gallery above, you'll find 22 of the most astounding Benjamin Franklin facts.