1) Benjamin Franklin
Pros: Even if he had never been involved in the revolution, Ben Franklin deserves a place on any list of great Americans. He was the first famous American, a scientist and inventor (and author, musician, journalist, blacksmith, lady’s man, lover of beer and just all-around awesome). His genius for inventing everything from lightning rods to bifocal glasses – and his personal favorite, the glass armonica -- granted him international fame, and it was the moment that Franklin was called before Parliament to answer for the misbehaving colonists that the revolution truly began. Rather than being treated as the single greatest scientific mind of his generation, he was treated like a dirty colonist. The crown had made a dangerous enemy, and the colonists would now have an excellent spymaster and diplomat. His advanced age meant he would never be a general or president, but he was the heart, soul and spirit of the new nation.
Cons: Really loved the ladies, like a lot … if you call that a flaw.