He was born 300 years ago today. Ann Althouse has a brief tribute and links. He was, as Prof. Althouse notes, "the first great American," and was one of the most famous men in the world at the time of the Revolution. For him to join the leadership of the American colonists against the British Crown was no small matter.
A favorite Ben Franklin quote: "He who falls in love with himself will have no rivals."
UPDATE: Other Franklin birthday-related links here, here, and here.