Andrew Carnegie (November 25, 1835ľAugust 11, 1919) was an American businessman and philanthropist of Scottish birth.
He was born in Dunfermline, Scotland.
Carnegie's Birth Place and Museumand emigrated to America in 1848. Carnegie was a social Darwinist who wrote The Gospel of Wealth, in which he stated his belief that the rich should use their wealth to help enrich society, rather than wasting it on those who do not have wealth. Early in life, Carnegie worked for meager pay as a bobbin boy in a textile factory. His life was a classic "rags to riches" story.
Carnegie was destined to become the richest man in the world as the head of the American steel industry, particularly Carnegie Steel. However, today Carnegie is remembered for his donations to the arts and institutions (many named after him). For example, the Carnegie Institute of Technology was founded in Pittsburgh, PA. (CIT is now Carnegie Mellon University.) He owned Carnegie Hall in New York City from its construction in 1890 until his widow sold it in 1924. Andrew Carnegie also funded almost 3,000 Carnegie libraries, in every U.S. state but Rhode Island, as well as Britain, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies and Fiji.
In an era in which financial capital was consolidated in New York City, Carnegie famously stayed aloof from the city, preferring to live near his factories in western Pennsylvania and at Skibo Castle, Scotland, which he bought and refurbished.
The following is taken from one of Carnegie's memos to himself:
"Man does not live by bread alone." I have known millionaires starving for lack of the nutriment which alone can sustain all that is human in man, and I know workmen, and many so-called poor men, who revel in luxuries beyond the power of those millionaires to reach. It is the mind that makes the body rich. There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else. Money can only be the useful drudge of things immeasurably higher than itself. Exalted beyond this, as it sometimes is, it remains Caliban still and still plays the beast. My aspirations take a higher flight. Mine be it to have contributed to the enlightenment and the joys of the mind, to the things of the spirit, to all that tends to bring into the lives of the toilers of Pittsburgh sweetness and light. I hold this the noblest possible use of wealth."
Carnegie also believed that achievement of financial success could be reduced to a simple formula which could be duplicated by the average person. In 1908, he commissioned Napoleon Hill, then a newspaper reporter, to interview over 500 millionaires to find out the common threads of their success. Hill eventually became his advisor and their work was published in 1928, after Carnegie's death, in Hill's book The Law of Success.
By the time he died in Lenox, Massachusetts, Carnegie had given away $350,695,653. At his death, the last $30,000,000 was likewise given away to foundations, charities and to pensioners.
He is interred in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Tarrytown, New York.
Career as industrialist
Carnegie made his fortune in the steel industry. His great innovation was in the cheap and efficient mass production of steel rails for railroad lines. In 1901, he sold his steel holdings to a group of New York-based financiers led by J.P. Morgan for $250 million. The buyout, which was negotiated in secret by Charles M. Schwab, was the largest such industrial takeover in the United States at the time. His former holdings were consolidated as U.S. Steel.
Besides steel, Carnegie's companies were involved in other areas of the railroad industry. His company Pittsburgh Locomotive and Car Works was noted for its building of large locomotives at the turn of the 20th century.