|Thursday, 20 November 2008 21:10|
Born: 25 November 1835 Dunfermline, Fife, United Kingdom
Died: 11 August 1919 Lenox, Massachusetts, United States
Notable because: Possibly the second richest man in history, he gave away his money to philanthropic causes. Observed as follows: "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."
Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-born industrialist, businessman, and a major philanthropist. He was an immigrant as a child with his parents. He built Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel Company, which was later merged with Elbert H. Gary's Federal Steel Company and several smaller companies to create U.S. Steel. With the fortune he made from business, he turned to philanthropy and interests in education, founding the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
While Carnegie paid his employees the low wages typical of the time, he later gave away most of his money to fund the establishment of many libraries, schools, and universities in America, the United Kingdom and other countries, as well as a pension fund for former employees. He is often regarded as the second richest man in history. Carnegie started as a telegrapher and by the 1860s had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars, bridges and oil derricks. He built further wealth as a bond salesman raising money for American enterprise in Europe.
Steel was where he made his fortune. In the 1870s, he founded the Carnegie Steel Company, a step which cemented his name as one of the “Captains of Industry”. By the 1890s, the company was the largest and most profitable industrial enterprise in the world. Carnegie sold it to J.P. Morgan in 1901, who created US Steel. Carnegie devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, and education and scientific research.
He died on 11 August 1919 in Lenox, Massachusetts. He had already given away $350,695,653 (approximately $4.3 billion, adjusted to 2005 figures) of his wealth. At his death, his last $30,000,000 was given to foundations, charities, and to pensioners. He was buried at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in North Tarrytown, New York. The grave site is located on the Arcadia Hebron plot of land at the corner of Summit Avenue and Dingle Road.
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