Apr 13, 2013

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Franklin was polymath, a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, and inventor. Next week is the anniversary of his death.
Born: January 17, 1706, Boston - Died: April 17, 1790, Philadelphia

In his will, the left 1,000 pounds each (about $4,400 at the time) to the cities of Philadelphia and Boston, but the cities were not given access to the money immediately. Franklin required that the money be held in trust for 100 years after his death. After that, the cities could remove a portion of the trust money to establish a trade school, but not all of the money could be withdrawn; some had to remain for another 100 years.

When the trusts became due in 1990, Philadelphia’s was worth $2 million. Philadelphia used the $2 million windfall to provide scholarships for area high school children. Boston’s trust, which withdrew less money during the trust’s second century, was worth $5 million. Boston used the $5 million to fund the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, which was established out of the trust’s funds which were withdrawn 100 years earlier.