Bill Robling in Franklin’s Shadow

30 Nov 2015, Posted by Founding Franklin in Get To Know Bill Robling


Bill Robling in Franklin’s Shadow

I am constantly amazed, and humbled, by the burden of portraying Benjamin Franklin. It is, of course, a great honor and a delight. When I consider, however, how many people are either portraying. or depicting, Franklin as a cartoon figure or a rascal, the task of bringing to life the true legacy of Benjamin Franklin is serious. More than any other founder, with the possible exception of George Washington, Franklin is put forth with at least as much myth as reality.

The man who developed the science of electricity, who brought Philadelphia, and America, into the world community of the eighteenth century, who forged the French Alliance which won America’s fight for Independence, has seen his legacy reduced to a kite-flying caricature or a globe-trotting lothario. It has gotten easier, once I decided to ignore the idiots and the arrogant people who only trust what they read on Wikipedia. But the mission is still there, to present one of history’s great figures in a true, unvarnished fashion; not a perfect human being, but a living, breathing human being with all his faults and all his extraordinary qualities. Yes, I know that I am not really Ben Franklin. But I endeavor to bring him to life every day.

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