Thomas Jefferson is best known as the author of the Declaration of Independence and as third president of the United States. But he was also a diplomat, an architect, a musician, a scientist and inventor, a strong supporter of religious freedom, and an early advocate of public education. He was the founder of the University of Virginia and the greatest patron of learning and the arts in his generation. Although he lived 83 years, he never ceased to be young in spirit. He was always learning something new, always trying to contribute to human progress. In his range of interests, perhaps no other American except Benjamin Franklin ever matched him.