Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston Massachusetts, on January 17, 1706. He was the fifteenth child born and the youngest son out of his seventeen siblings. Benjamin's parents, Josiah and Abiah Franklin, were hard-working people, who owned a shop that produced soap and candles. Benjamin attended school in Boston for only two years, and proved to be a quick learner. He soon rose to the head of his class and was sent ahead a grade. Unfortunately, Josiah decided that he could not afford Benjamin's education and kept Benjamin at home to assist him in the shop. This was not the end of Benjamin's education however, he continued to read many books and taught himself the basic principles of algebra, geometry, navigation, logic, grammar, and the natural and physical sciences. At the age of twelve, Benjamin's father persuaded him to become an apprentice to his older brother James, who was a printer. He learned quickly from his brother and became a skilled printer, yet he wanted to be his own master and at the age of seventeen decided to run away to Philadelphia.
Benjamin worked for various printers when he arrived in Philadelphia and soon became the sole owner of his own business. Benjamin had a simple thought for