Richard "Ben Franklin" Fowler

 

Benjamin Franklin Character Portrayer and Motivational Speaker


Richard does a dazzling performance, appearing as Benjamin Franklin in costume. He has a striking resemblance to Benjamin Franklin and has studied Franklin's life and contributions thoroughly, weaving much of what he has learned into his portrayals. He injects a lot of humor, including Benjamin Franklin anecdotes, into his talks, and relates much of B. Franklin's accomplishments. He stresses what most have left out of their characterizations of Franklin - the significant part he played in gaining America's freedom. While largely remembered for his inventions and scientific experiments, he wants Franklin to be remembered for helping to formulate our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution and the big part he played in bringing the French to our side...the key to our gaining our Independence.


Programs

Benjamin Franklin On Liberty
I emphasize how I want to be remembered most for what I did to gain our liberty. I was the only one who signed all four documents that secured our liberty.

Benjamin Franklin On Education
I start off by telling my audience that I only had two years of formal education. I tell them that we have failed history, as a country. I tell the importance of history and how this will impact on our future. I examine the reasons for this failure and advance ideas for getting us back on track in teaching history, especially American History, to our young people.

Benjamin Franklin, The Entrepreneur
As Benjamin Franklin, I recount my ventures into business and the many accomplishments I made in the business field. I tell how I rose to be one of the richest men in America, after starting with virtually nothing.

Benjamin Franklin, The Motivator
Starting with how I treated women, I tell about recognizing the positive aspects of people. My secret with women is to tell them something good about themselves and to minimize talking about myself. With all my workers, I let them know that I have confidence in them and encourage them to set goals for themselves and recognize their efforts.

Benjamin Franklin The Inventor
I go over the various inventions and scientific experiments that I am credited with. I explain how I got into these projects and some of the techniques I used. I emphasize how much these things, especially the lightning experiment, opened the doors for me diplomatically and helped me to attract other nations to our cause. [One story that I use only in select groups: "People ask me how I got started in my lightning experiment. It was a cold, dark rainy afternoon with a lot of lightning and thunder. I was alone with my wife, Debra, at the time. Being one who likes to make good use of my time, I made some romantic advances to her. She said, 'Benjamin, Why don't you go fly a kite?'...so that is how I got started."]

Benjamin Franklin and Young People
At times I am called on to speak to young people, even pre-schoolers, and I relate how I lead them in nursery rhymes and then do a take-off on Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance and lead them in the Pledge of Allegiance To Our Flag. I talk to them about liberty, love of our country, love of our flag and patriotism.

 

Bio:

Dick Fowler has a broad management experience, having been a manager at Western Electric/AT&T for most of the 34 years with them. He was a pioneer in the manufacture of our very first telephone electronic switching system and helped develop many of that system's electronic components that are used throughout the world today. In 1962 there were only 100 circuit boards. Today there are millions. He helped build the first memory units, which today we call computers.

He knows what motivates people and how managers can improve their skills, and can weave many of these ideas into his presentations.

He has served The Sons of the American Revolution for many years in most chapter offices and was the webmaster of the Florida Society of the SAR for over seven years and has been, and is, the Editor of the Florida Society State Newsletter for over five years. He lives in Ohio and as a dual member in Florida and Ohio, is the Secretary of the Benjamin Franklin Chapter in Columbus. He has a very extensive knowledge of American Revolution History and bemoans the fact that, as a nation, we get a failing grade in history. Richard's main goal has been to do whatever he can to teach American History to our young people, and that has been his main objective in using Benjamin Franklin character portrayals as his catalyst. His secondary goal is to introduce more people to the Sons of the American Revolution and teach them how they can improve their lives by becoming members.


Some time ago a friend and I went to a local elementary school to talk to students about the American Revolution. My friend mentioned that he had a musket in his car, and the teacher said, “Why don’t you bring it in?” To my surprise, the principal gave permission, and in we went, dressed in our colonial uniforms, musket and all. The kids were very excited to see this authentic American Revolution musket replica, and they were very elated with our presentation.
For some time, whenever I wore my SAR uniform, people have likened me to Benjamin Franklin and often call me “Ben.” To capitalize on this reaction, I let my hair grow long and bought a costume such as Benjamin Franklin wore (see photo).
My objective is to go to schools as “Benjamin Franklin” and tell the kids about Benjamin Franklin and the American Revolution. As with the musket, I hope to better capture their attention and help build in them a desire to learn more about the heroes of the American Revolution who gave us our freedom.

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