National Treasure Wiki
Benjamin Franklin Gates
Biographical information


Ethnic group


Eye color


Hair color



January 7, 1964


Patrick Henry Gates (father)
Emily Appleton Gates (mother)
John Adams Gates (grandfather)


Abigail Chase

Behind the scenes
First appearance

National Treasure

Last appearance

National Treasure: Book of Secrets


Hunter Gomez (child)
Nicolas Cage (adult)


"I'm going to steal the Declaration of Independence."
―Benjamin Gates[src]

Benjamin Franklin Gates is an American treasure hunter and cryptologist, famous for finding the Templar Treasure.

Early Life

Ben was born on January 7, 1964, to Patrick Henry Gates and his wife, Emily. Grandson of John Adams Gates. In 1974, Ben was told by his grandfather, John Gates, about a treasure that goes back to the Freemasons and the Knights Templar which was so large that no one man could claim it. The story was a family legend which came from Ben's ancestor, Thomas Gates in the 1820s or 30s. This story permanently impacted Ben, starting him upon a lifelong journey to find the Templar Treasure. Later on, Ben received a mechanical engineering degree from MIT and an American History Degree from Georgetown. Ben was a former Navy man and attended the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center before continuing the six generation family tradition of treasure hunting. 

The Templar Treasure


The Charlotte is a boat found by Ben Gates. Charlotte along with another clue a pipe and a riddle. Ben figures out the riddle is referring to the Declaration itself; the map, according to the riddle, is written in invisible ink on the back of the document. At this point, Ben loses hope in ever finding the treasure, seeing as the government would never let him examine and perform tests on arguably the most important document in American history. But Ian and his henchmen betray Ben and Riley, leaving them for dead when they do not go along with the idea of stealing the Declaration..

It takes Ben 30 years and the ridicule of his own father, who had given up on the treasure, believing it to be a myth. Financed by Ian Howe and his henchmen, along with computer whiz friend, Riley Poole, he finds the Charlotte in an ice ridden land mass. The group dig up the ship and find another clue...the pipe. After finding the pipe, the group fights over how they are going to find the treasure. This ultimately leads to Ian saying that they could steal the Declaration of Independence, which Ben disapproves of.

With gun powder laying all over the floor, Ben lights a match thinking that Ian would back down and let him help find the treasure. This proves untrue as Ian throws the match onto the gun powder leading to the Charlotte blowing up. he hnoett

The Declaration

When Ben and Riley tell Homeland Security and the FBI about someone trying to tell that someone wants to steal the Declaration of Independence they both write them off as lunatics.  He makes an appointment under an alias (Paul Brown) with a Dr. Abigail Chase. Abigail doesn't believe them, telling them that she has personally inspected the Declaration itself and never saw a map. Ben visits the National Archives and reads aloud a part of the Declaration that inspires him to take

Ben saying he is going to say he's going to steal the Declaration of Independence

action to protect the Declaration from Ian. Ben Gates decides to steal the Declaration of Independence.

Riley doesn't believe anyone could ever possibly steal the Declaration of Independence. He shows Ben blueprints of the National Archives from the Library of Congress to show that the Declaration has some of the best security possible, including guards, heat sensors, and bulletproof glass. And even when the document isn't on display, it's in a password-protected vault. Ben then pulls out a book of his own, showing Riley the preservation room of the National Archives. This is where the documents are sent for cleaning to better preserve them (hence, 'preservation room'). When Riley asks how Ben intends to break in, Ben shows Riley a pamphlet he picked up at Dr. Chase's office, advertising a gala at the Archives. Since security will be focused on the VIP guests, breaking into the preservation room should be much easier.

The Heist

Ben Gates Driving License.jpg

The 'evil plan' is put into action. Riley sets off one of the heat sensors embedded.

in the Declaration's display case; the entire display with the document is sent to the preservation room for examination. Ben sneaks into the gala as a janitor, which allows him to enter the building with a drill. He takes off and throws away the costume to show he is wearing a suit underneath for the event. He talks to Abigail and hands her a glass, hoping to get her fingerprint. But Ben gives too much of his plan away after a toast, and Abigail begins to suspect Ben isn't who he says he is. With the aid of Riley and his high-tech technology (including a feed to the Archive cameras), Ben breaks into the preservation room (after using Abigail's fingerprint and the password to get into the room). Ben begins to unscrew the document's case when Riley suddenly loses his camera feed (Ian and his men have just tapped into the feed themselves). Ben responds by taking the whole case into the elevator, planning to remove the Declaration in the elevator. However, he runs into Ian (who, of course, is also after the Declaration). One of Ian's partners shoots at him and Ben has to make a break for it in the elevator back to the main level. On the way, Ben finally removes the Declaration from the case

Ben stealing the Declaration of Independence

and hides it in his jacket. But then he has to escape Abigail, who has discovered Ben (or Paul, as she knows him) isn't on the guest list for the gala. Ben hides momentarily in a gift shop, but is stopped by the clerk when she notices a 'copy' of the Declaration.He then has to pay with a visa creditcard after not having enough cash.

When Abigail sees Ben at the Gala figures out that something is not right and goes after him. Ian is also after Ben and Riley and takes Abigail and what he thinks is the Declaration. Ben and Riley save Abigail and now they have to figure out where to go because thanks to the credit card purchase they can not go home.


Ben now hunted by the FBI and Special agent Peter Sadusky figures out that the only place they can go now ars over Ben's instance that the treasure is real. With Lemon Juice they, Abigail, Ben, and Riley, figure out that they next clues involve the Silence Dogood letters written by Benjamin Franklin. He asks his father for them but Patrick Gates says he donated them the The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Using the numbers on the back of the Declaration as a key to find the next clue Riley outside the Institute figures out that the next clue is at the Liberty Bell. It involves the direct spot on Independence Hall that shows a shadow to where the next clue is. At the Centennial Bell which is where the Liberty Bell original stood he finds bifocals that help him figure out the Next place to look is in New York. However Ben is separated from Abigail and Riley so that Ian does not get the map or the glasses. Unfortunately


being that Abigail is not letting The Declaration of Independence out of her sight is Ben's Father house in Cherry Hill New Jersey. Patrick Henry Gates and Ben have been estranged for years over Ben's instance that the treasure is real.  Unfortunately, he is arrested by Sadusky in the process. Abigail also loses the Document to Ian.

New York

Ben's wanted flyers

Ben explains to the agents what he was doing and they do not believe him. They say to shorten his sentence (Sadusky gives him the two door metaphoric option) he will have to help them get the others involved in the heist meaning Ian. Ian sets up a meeting at the Intrepid in New York City but Ben is double crossed by Ian and he escapes by diving into the Hudson River and fleeing to where the next clue leads Trinity Church in the Wall Street area. Ian however is also there and to make sure there are no double crosses him since he has kidnapped Patrick Henry Gates. The clues lead all of them to the back of the Church where there is a secret entrance. Walking down the steps Benhas to make a choice when both Abigail and The Declaration are about to fall. He chooses to save the Declaration and Abigail agrees with him. Finding there is nothing at the end of the stairs Ian is ready to kill all of them. Ben and Patrick give him a fake clue that will lead Ian to the Old North Church in Boston. Ian decides to leave Ben, Patrick, Abigail, and Riley down in the basement where no one knows they are.

Once Ian is gone, Ben goes to where the treasure should be but it isn't. He finally excepts the truth that his father was right all along. Patrick Henry Gates says that this room was real therefore you Ben were right and I was wrong. Then in finding away out of the deepest of the basement all four of them find the Treasure.



The FBI is called in to Trinity Church and Sadusky tells Ben that someone has to go to prison after he returns to Declaration to the government and says that the Treasure should be split up throughout all the Worlds great Museums. Ben says that Sadusky can still capture Ian if he can get to Boston before Ian does. Ben is there to see the arrest.


To Riley's dismay Ben turns down the ten percent that the government says he could keep and only takes one percent. He then tells Riley before Riley leaves in the convertible he bought with part of his share that next time they find a treasure he can decide on the finders fee.

Search for Cíbola

The Booth Diary Page

3 years after discovering the Templar Treasure, Ben had become semi-famous within the treasure hunting community for discovering what was dubbed the "National Treasure".