I have read he is widely considered one, whereas he isn't included with the greats.


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    Unless there is a well defined set of criteria to decide who qualifies as "Founding Father", this is probably an opinion based question, which are frowned upon at StackExchange.
    – SJuan76
    Jan 31, 2022 at 18:08
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    It's something like, founders did one or more of the following: signed the decl of indep, signed the constitution, was a leader of one of the 13 colonies, was a general during the revolution. You could also add, those who signed for each ammendment, the leader of each new territory or state at the time they joined and those who signed the various documents formalizing those joinings. and possibly the same for when territories (etc.) became states. Paine was an amazing author with huge influence. But he was not one of the official revolutionaries.
    – Dan
    Jan 31, 2022 at 19:33

1 Answer 1


The term 'Founding Father' generally refers to those people directly involved in the construction and ratification of the US constitution. Paine was an influential philosopher of the period but not a Framer, so I don't think the term applies. But, you know... Terms like this are subject to argumentation.

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