They are American icons—they’re on our dollars and coins, they are the subject of our monuments, and we live our daily lives in the world their ideas helped create. Our Founding Fathers may be esteemed for getting the United States of America started, but we also remember they were regular people that got there start in many different origins.
America’s Founding Fathers include Signers of the Continental Association (1774), Signers of the Declaration of Independence (1776), Signers of the Articles of Confederation (1777), and Delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention.
These men, together with several other key players of their time, structured the American democracy and left a legacy that has shaped the world. But beyond their legends, these men were human beings who led complex and fascinating lives. Learning their stories helps us better understand what made them tick, as well as their influence on our world today.
“Referred To and Cited Reliable Sources” as having been Fathers or Founders of the United States.
Abigail Adams, advisor, wife, and mother of presidents.
Ethan Allen, military and political leader in Vermont.
Richard Allen, African-American bishop.
John Bartram, botanist, horticulturist and explorer.
Egbert Benson, politician from New York.
Richard Bland, Virginia delegate to Continental Congress.
Elias Boudinot, New Jersey delegate to Continental Congress.
Aaron Burr, Vice President under Jefferson.
George Rogers Clark, army general.
George Clinton, New York governor and Vice President of the U.S.
Tench Coxe, economist in Continental Congress.
Albert Gallatin, politician and Treasury Secretary.
Horatio Gates, army general.
Nathanael Greene, army general.
Nathan Hale, captured U.S. soldier executed in 1776.
Patrick Henry, Virginia governor.
James Iredell, advocate for Constitution, judge.
John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the United States.
John Paul Jones, navy captain.
Henry Knox, army general, Secretary of War.
Tadeusz Kościuszko, Polish army general.
Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, French army general.
Henry Lee III, army officer and Virginia governor.
Robert R. Livingston, diplomat and jurist.
William Maclay, Pennsylvania politician and U.S. Senator.
Dolley Madison, spouse of President James Madison.
John Marshall, fourth Chief Justice of the United States.
Philip Mazzei, Italian physician, merchant and author.
James Monroe, fifth President of the United States
Daniel Morgan, military hero and Virginia Congressman.
James Otis, Jr., Massachusetts lawyer and politician.
Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense.
Edmund Pendleton, Virginia politician, lawyer and judge.
Andrew Pickens, army general and SC congressman.
Timothy Pickering, U.S. Secretary of State from Massachusetts.
Israel Putnam, army general.
Comte de Rochambeau, French army general.
Thomas Sumter, SC military hero and congressman.
Haym Solomon, financier and spy for Continental Army.
Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, Prussian officer.
Joseph Warren, doctor, revolutionary leader.
Mercy Otis Warren, political writer.
Anthony Wayne, army general and politician
Noah Webster, writer, lexicographer, educator.
Thomas Willing, banker.
Paine Wingate, oldest survivor, Continental Congress.