Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist. Carnegie led the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century and became one of the richest Americans in history. He became a leading philanthropist in the United States and in the British Empire. During the last 18 years of his life, he gave away ~$350 million (roughly $5.2 billion in 2020) to many charities, foundations, and universities – almost 90 percent of his fortune. His 1889 article proclaiming "The Gospel of Wealth" called on the rich to use their wealth to improve society, expressed support for progressive taxation and an estate tax, and stimulated a wave of philanthropy.
Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1848 at age 12. Carnegie started work as a telegrapher, and by the 1860s had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars, bridges, and oil derricks. He accumulated further wealth as a bond salesman, raising money for American enterprise in Europe. He built Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel Company, which he sold to J. P. Morgan in 1901 for $303,450,000. It became the U.S. Steel Corporation. After selling Carnegie Steel, he surpassed John D. Rockefeller as the richest American for the next several years.
Carnegie devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, education, and scientific research. With the fortune he made from business, he built Carnegie Hall in New York, NY, and the Peace Palace and founded the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, Carnegie Hero Fund, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, among others.
Books by Andrew Carnegie
This autobiography of Andrew Carnegie is a very well written and interesting history of one of the most wealthy men in the United states. He was born in Scotland in 1835 and emigrated to America in 1848. Among his many accomplishments and philanthrop...
This biography of the inventor James Watt covers his early years, successes and failures, and legacy
Subtitled "Fifty Years' March of the Republic," this is steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie's love letter to America, first published in 1886, an impassioned celebration of the American success story, and a call for other nations to follow in America's foot...
"Wealth", more commonly known as "The Gospel of Wealth", is an article written by Andrew Carnegie in June of 1889 that describes the responsibility of philanthropy by the new upper class of self-made rich. The article was published in the North Ameri...