What Dollar Bill Is Benjamin Franklin On Find Out Here

The United States currency is a tapestry of American history and culture, each bill bearing the face of a figure significant to the nation’s past. Among these iconic images, Benjamin Franklin’s presence on the $100 bill stands out not only for its high value but also for the storied life of Franklin himself. A polymath who left an indelible mark on science, politics, and philosophy, Franklin is commemorated in a denomination reflecting his substantial contributions. This article explores the reasons behind Franklin’s association with the $100 bill, delving into the history of the bill, its design and security features, and the cultural impact of one of America’s founding fathers on its currency.

Franklin’s Life And Contributions To The Founding Of The United States

Benjamin Franklin, born on January 17, 1706, in Boston, Massachusetts, was a true Renaissance man whose contributions spanned various fields, including science, literature, politics, and diplomacy. As one of the United States’ Founding Fathers, his impact on the nation’s early development was profound and multifaceted. Here’s a closer look at his key contributions:

Early Life and Education

Franklin was the 15th of 17 children. Largely self-taught, his thirst for knowledge was evident from a young age. He voraciously read books, which laid the groundwork for his diverse interests in later life.

Inventions and Scientific Achievements

Franklin was a prolific inventor and scientist. He never patented his inventions; famously, he intended to contribute freely to the common good. His inventions include the lightning rod, bifocal glasses, and the Franklin stove. He also conducted groundbreaking experiments with electricity and contributed to understanding the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean.

Political Career

Franklin’s political career was equally illustrious. He was instrumental in drafting the Declaration of Independence and was among the signatories of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War, and the U.S. Constitution. His diplomatic skills were pivotal in securing French support during the Revolutionary War, crucial for America’s victory over the British.

Advocacy and Public Service

Throughout his life, Franklin was deeply involved in public service and advocacy. He founded the University of Pennsylvania and the American Philosophical Society and was the first Postmaster General of the United States. He was a vocal opponent of slavery and advocated for educational and civic reforms.

Print and Literature

Franklin also made significant contributions to print and literature. He founded one of the first public libraries in America and was the author of Poor Richard’s Almanack, which contained weather forecasts, household hints, puzzles, and aphorisms. This trendy publication cemented his status as one of colonial America’s foremost authors and printers.


Franklin’s legacy is vast and varied. By his death on April 17, 1790, he had helped shape the foundational principles of the new United States through his contributions to the Constitution and his active participation in American politics and diplomacy.

The Hundred Dollar Bill: Benjamin Franklin’s Legacy

The hundred-dollar bill, featuring the illustrious Benjamin Franklin, is the highest denomination currently circulating in the United States and a symbol of Franklin’s enduring legacy. Here are some detailed points about the $100 bill:

Design and Iconography: The front of the $100 bill proudly displays a portrait of Benjamin Franklin, one of the most prominent Founding Fathers of the United States. This portrait is paired with the Independence Hall on the reverse side, symbolizing Franklin’s significant contributions to American independence and governance. The design elements are not merely decorative but serve as tributes to his role in shaping the nation.

Security Features: Over the years, the $100 bill has incorporated advanced security features to combat counterfeiting. These include a blue security ribbon composed of thousands of micro-lenses used to determine the bill’s authenticity. Additionally, a color-shifting ink is used on the number 100 in the lower right corner, which changes from copper to green when tilted. A watermark of Benjamin Franklin is also visible from both sides when held to light, and a security thread embedded to the left of Franklin’s portrait glows pink under UV light.

Historical Evolution: Since its initial issuance in 1861, the $100 bill has undergone several redesigns. The modern design, last updated in 2013, aims to enhance security features while maintaining the bill’s historical and cultural significance. Each redesign subtly alters Franklin’s portrayal while keeping his image constant, reflecting his timeless impact on American society.

Symbolic Significance: Benjamin Franklin’s presence on the $100 bill symbolizes trust, stability, and reliability—traits he exemplified throughout his varied careers as a statesman, inventor, and philosopher. The high denomination speaks to his high regard; it is often used in significant transactions and savings, underlining the trust placed in Franklin’s representation.

Cultural Impact: The $100 bill occupies a unique cultural niche in American society. Often referred to colloquially as “Benjamins,” it is a staple in discussions about wealth, economics, and capital. Its depiction in media and popular culture underscores its status as a symbol of prosperity and affluence.

How Benjamin Franklin’s Image On The $100 Bill Reflects His Legacy And Values.

The inclusion of Benjamin Franklin’s image on the $100 bill reflects his enduring legacy and the values he espoused throughout his life. Here’s how Franklin’s portrayal of this high-denomination bill encapsulates his contributions and principles:

Franklin was a prolific inventor and a keen observer of the natural world whose curiosity drove advancements in various fields such as electricity, meteorology, and civic utilities. His image on the $100 bill symbolizes America’s appreciation for innovation and intellectual pursuit. This aligns with the nation’s ongoing encouragement of scientific and technological progress, mirroring Franklin’s endeavors to push the boundaries of contemporary knowledge and technology.

As a crucial figure in American diplomacy, especially during the nation’s formative years, Franklin’s role in securing French support during the Revolutionary War and his contributions to drafting the U.S. Constitution are monumental. His image on the bill reflects his values of diplomacy, cooperation, and effective governance. It serves as a reminder of the importance of these traits in shaping a successful and sustainable political landscape.

Franklin was also known for his financial and personal responsibility wisdom, famously encapsulated in aphorisms like “A penny saved is a penny earned” from his Poor Richard’s Almanack. The $100 bill, a high denomination, often used for significant transactions and savings, symbolizes financial prudence and stability—qualities that Franklin highly valued and promoted during his lifetime.

Franklin’s lifelong commitment to education and his efforts in founding institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania speaks to his belief in the power of education. Placing him on the $100 bill reflects his value placed on enlightenment and learning as pillars for a prosperous and progressive society.

Beyond his physical likeness, Franklin’s presence on the $100 bill underscores his broader cultural and ethical impact. He was a proponent of virtues such as humility, honesty, and industriousness. His legacy on the bill encourages contemplation of these values in daily economic transactions, promoting an ethos of integrity and hard work.

Final Words

Benjamin Franklin’s presence on the $100 bill is more than just a tribute to his historical significance; it reflects the multifaceted legacy he left behind, including pioneering contributions to science, governance, education, and financial prudence. Franklin’s image of this currency serves as a constant reminder of the virtues and values that helped shape the foundation and progress of the United States. It encapsulates his intellectual curiosity, diplomatic skill, financial wisdom, and moral philosophy, serving as a symbol of economic stability and an inspirational figure for generations. As we use and see this bill daily, it encourages us to reflect on and aspire to Franklin’s high standards of diligence, integrity, and civic responsibility.


Which other Founding Fathers are on U.S. currency?

Other Founding Fathers featured on U.S. currency include Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton.

Are there any plans to change the design of the $100 bill?

There have been periodic discussions about updating the design of the $100 bill to incorporate new security features, but there are no immediate plans for a redesign.

Could Benjamin Franklin truly want the national bird to be the turkey?

Yes, Benjamin Franklin preferred the turkey over the bald eagle as the national bird of the United States, although his proposal was not adopted.