Andrew Carnegie's Life: Rags-To Riches Story

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Andrew Carnegie, whose life became a rags-to-riches story, was born into modest circumstances on November 25, 1835, in Dunfermline, Scotland, the second of two sons of Will, a handloom weaver, and Margaret, who did sewing work for local shoemakers. In 1848, the Carnegie family (who pronounced their name “carNEgie”) moved to America in search of better economic opportunities and settled in Allegheny City (now part of Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania. Andrew Carnegie, whose formal education ended when he left Scotland, where he had no more than a few years’ schooling, soon found employment as a bobbin boy at a cotton factory, earning $1.20 a week. Ambitious and hard-working, he went on to hold a series of jobs, including messenger in a telegraph…show more content…
That same year, Morgan merged Carnegie Steel with a group of other steel businesses to form U.S. Steel, the world’s first billion-dollar corporation Andrew Carnegie: Philanthropist After Carnegie sold his steel company, the diminutive titan, who stood 5’3”, retired from business and devoted himself full-time to philanthropy. In 1889, he had penned an essay, “The Gospel of Wealth,” in which he stated that the rich have “a moral obligation to distribute [their money] in ways that promote the welfare and happiness of the common man.” Carnegie also said that “The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.” Carnegie eventually gave away some $350 million (the equivalent of billions in today’s dollars), which represented the bulk of his wealth. Among his philanthropic activities, he funded the establishment of more than 2,500 public libraries around the globe, donated more than 7,600 organs to churches worldwide and endowed organizations (many still in existence today) dedicated to research in science, education, world peace and other causes. Among his gifts was the $1.1 million required for the land and construction costs of Carnegie Hall, the legendary New York City concert venue that opened in

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