Andrew Carnegie was an American manufacturer and philanthropist who lived from November 25, 1835, until August 11, 1919. In the late 19th century, Carnegie oversaw the growth of the American steel industry and rose to become one of the wealthiest people in history. He rose to prominence as a philanthropist in the British Empire, the United States, and Great Britain. He donated about 90% of his wealth—roughly $350 million (or $5.9 billion in 2022)—to foundations, charities, and educational institutions during the course of his final 18 years. His 1889 essay titled "The Gospel of Wealth" encouraged generosity by urging the wealthy to spend their fortune to benefit society. It also supported progressive taxation and an estate tax.Carnegie, who was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with his parents when he was 12 years old in 1848. After beginning his career as a telegrapher, Carnegie amassed wealth by the 1860s through investments in oil derricks, train sleeper cars, bridges and railways. As a bond salesman, he increased his riches by raising money for American businesses operating in Europe. He established the Carnegie Steel Company in Pittsburgh, which he later sold to J. P. Morgan for $303,450,000 (equivalent to $10,674,160,000 in today's dollars) and which served as the foundation for the U.S. Steel Corporation. He overtook John D. Rockefeller as the wealthiest American of the period after selling Carnegie Steel.
The remainder of Carnegie's life was devoted to extensive charity, with a focus on the establishment of local libraries, international peace, education, and scientific research. In addition to founding the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Carnegie Institution for Science, the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, the Carnegie Hero Fund, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, he also funded the construction of Carnegie Hall in New York City and the Peace Palace in The Hague.
Margaret Morrison Carnegie and William Carnegie welcomed Andrew into the world in Dunfermline, Scotland, in a typical weaver's cottage with just one main room that took up half the ground floor and was shared with the next weaver's family. Living, dining, and sleeping areas were all included in the main room. He was given his paternal grandfather's name. Following the need for more heavy damask, from which his father benefitted, the family relocated to a larger home in Edgar Street (opposite Reid's Park) in 1836. He received his education at the Dunfermline Free School, which was a gift to the community from the philanthropist Adam Rolland of Gask.When Carnegie was a little kid, his maternal uncle, Scottish politician George Lauder Sr., had a significant impact on him by introducing him to Robert Burns' works and Scottish historical figures like Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, and Rob Roy. George Lauder, also the name of Lauder's son, was raised alongside Carnegie and later joined him in business. When Carnegie was 12 years old, his father's handloom weaving business had hit hard times. The fact that the country was starving made matters worse. His mother worked with her brother to help support the family and ran a "sweetie shop" where she sold potted meats, making her the main provider.
Carnegie and his family landed in Allegheny in September 1848. The father of Carnegie found it difficult to market his goods on his own. Eventually, job offers were made to the father and son at the same cotton factory, Anchor Cotton Mills, which was owned by Scots. at 1848, Carnegie's first employment was as a bobbin boy, changing spools of thread at a Pittsburgh cotton factory 12 hours a day, six days a week. His initial pay was $1.20 per week ($41 with inflation in 2022).
Following his uncle's advice, Carnegie accepted a job as a telegraph messenger boy for the Ohio Telegraph Company's Pittsburgh Office in 1849 for $2.50 a week. He was a diligent worker who would commit to memory the names and locations of every company in Pittsburgh. He connected with many people in this way. He was also very focused on his task and picked up on the various noises the incoming telegraph messages made quite fast. Within a year, he was promoted to operator because he learned how to interpret signals by ear without utilising the paper slip. Colonel James Anderson encouraged Carnegie's education and love of reading by letting working lads use his 400-volume personal library every Saturday night.Carnegie was a dependable borrower and a "self-made man" in terms of his intellectual and cultural advancement as well as his economic growth. Colonel Anderson had given him permission to use his library, and he was so appreciative that he "resolved, if ever wealth came to me, [to see to it] that other poor boys might receive opportunities similar to those for which we were indebted to the nobleman" His ability, desire to put in the effort, persistence, and attentiveness eventually led to chances.
Carnegie was hired as a secretary/telegraph operator by Thomas A. Scott of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1853, when he was around 18 years old, for a salary of $4.00 per week. Carnegie chose to work for the railway over the telegraph business because he believed the former offered more opportunities for professional development and experience. At the age of 24, Scott questioned Carnegie's suitability to serve as superintendent of the Pennsylvania Railroad's Western Division. Carnegie assumed his formal role as the Western Division's supervisor on December 1, 1859. To serve as his personal secretary and telegraph operator, Carnegie next employed his sixteen-year-old brother Tom. Carnegie not only employed his brother, but also his cousin Maria Hogan, who went on to become the nation's first female telegraph operator.
Carnegie contributed early capital to the Venango County, Pennsylvania-based Columbia Oil Company in 1864. The company generated nearly $1 million in cash dividends in a single year, and oil from the property's oil wells was successfully sold. Pittsburgh became a hub of wartime industry because to the demand for iron goods like gunboat armour, cannons, and shells, among a hundred other industrial goods. Together with others, Carnegie built a steel rolling plant, and his wealth came from controlling the steel business and producing steel. Prior to the war, Carnegie made some investments in the iron sector.
Carnegie was 65 years old and contemplating retirement in 1901. In order to prepare for this, he transformed his businesses into traditional joint stock organisations. The most significant financial deal-maker in America was a banker by the name of John Pierpont Morgan. He had seen how well Carnegie made money. He envisioned a fully integrated steel sector that would reduce costs, lower consumer prices, increase output, and increase worker salaries. To do this, he needed to acquire Carnegie and many other significant producers and combine them into one business to reduce duplication and waste. On March 2, 1901, he reached a settlement and established the United States Steel Corporation. It was the first company with a market valuation of over $1 billion in the whole world.
The buyout was the greatest industrial takeover in US history to date and was conducted in secret by Charles M. Schwab (not related to Charles R. Schwab). Carnegie ended his commercial career once the interests were integrated into the Morgan-founded United States Steel Corporation. For $303,450,000, his steel-related businesses were purchased out.
At his Shadow Brook residence in Lenox, Massachusetts, Carnegie passed away on August 11, 1919, from bronchial pneumonia. Of his money, he had already donated $350,695,653 (or almost $5.92 billion in US currency in 2022). His final $30 million was donated to foundations, charities, and pensioners after his passing. In Sleepy Hollow, New York, he was laid to rest in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. At the intersection of Summit Avenue and Dingle Road, on the Arcadia Hebron property, is where the burial is located. Samuel Gompers, a union organiser and another significant industrialist of the Gilded Age, is buried just a few yards from where Carnegie is laid to rest.