Ben Franklin’s Bawdiest Quotes

Ben Franklin, our bifocaled Founding Father with a business-in-the-front-party-in-the-back hairstyle, had a penchant for fine food, drink, and women. “Certainly Franklin liked women. He knew how to flirt. He wrote lovely letters,” states author Claude-Anne Lopez. Franklin had an irreverent side, evident in his many essays and letters about everything from flatulence to choosing a mistress. “He had wit at will. He had humor that when he pleased was pleasant and delightful . . . [and] talents for irony, allegory, and fable, that he could adapt with great skill, to the promotion of moral and political truth,” second President of the United States John Adams wrote of Franklin. On the anniversary of his passing, here are a few of First American’s bawdiest moments that revealed his humor and challenged the social mores of his time.