Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) the American statesman and scientist was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the youngest son and 15th child of a family of 17. At twelve he was apprenticed to his brother James, a printer. Later Benjamin went to Philadelphia where he established his own printing house. In 1729 he purchased the Pennsylvania Gazette and in 1732 he began publishing Poor Richard's Almanac, which had an unprecedented circulation. He married Deborah Read in 1730 and had two children. In 1746 he commenced his researches in electricity. In 1775 Franklin was actively involved in the deliberations which resulted in the Declaration of Independence of 4 July 1776.