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Fascinating facts about Andrew Carnegie
creator of the American Steel Industry in 1875.

Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie is the classic American success story. He rose from a $1.20 a week job for a thread company to the head of a company that sold for the equivalent of $12.5 billion! Believing that "a rich man who dies rich dies in disgrace," he worked as hard at giving his wealth away as he did to earn it.
Inventor: Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie photo courtesy Carnegie Corporation of New York
Criteria; First practical. Entrepreneur.
Birth: November 25, 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland
Death: August 11, 1919 in Lenox, Massachusetts
Nationality: Scottish
Invention: American Steel Industry
Steel Mill photo courtesy Alex Walker Foundation
Function: noun /
Definition: The American steel manufacturing industry, primarily located in Pittsburgh, Pa, where steel is made, processed and shaped.  Steel is a commercial iron that contains carbon in any amount up to about 1.7 percent  and is distinguished from cast iron by its malleability and lower carbon content
1835 born November 25, 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland
1848 The Carnegies emigrate to U.S.
1861 Carnegie forms the Freedom Iron Company and uses Bessemer's furnace
1872 On a visit to England, Carnegie visits Henry Bessemer's steel plants
1875 Carnegie opens his first steel plant, the Edgar Thomson Works
1889 Carnegie publishes "The Gospel of Wealth,"
1899 Carnegie organizes several of his steel companies into Carnegie Steel.
1901 Carnegie sells to J.P. Morgan for $480 million, a move which allows Morgan to create US Steel
1911 Carnegie Corporation of New York is founded to distribute is wealth
1919 Died in Lenox, Massachusetts, on August 11,
CAPS: Carnegie, Andrew Carnegie, J P Morgan, Henry Bessemer, Henry Clay Frick, J. Edgar Thomson Steel Works,  Carnegie Steel Company,  US Steel, ARY, steel, steel industry, SIP, history, biography, inventor, author, entrepreneur., philanthropist, inventor of, history of, who invented, invention of, fascinating facts.
The Story:
On March 12, 1901, Andrew Carnegie, one of the world's foremost industrialists, offered the city of New York $5.2 million for the construction of 65 branch libraries. The Scottish immigrant's fortune eventually would establish many more libraries and charitable foundations.

Born in 1835, Carnegie immigrated to the United States in 1848 with his parents. Working in American industry and making shrewd investments, he amassed a fortune before the age of thirty. In the 1870s, he noted the potential of the steel industry and founded J. Edgar Thomson Steel Works near Pittsburgh, which eventually evolved into the Carnegie Steel Company. The company boomed, and in 1901, Carnegie sold it to financier J.P. Morgan for $480 million and retired.

Carnegie devoted the rest of his life to writing and philanthropic activities. Believing that any accumulated wealth should be distributed in the form of public endowments, Carnegie founded 2,509 libraries in the English-speaking world, including ones in Michigan, New York, Ohio, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. He also established several trusts and helped found Carnegie Mellon University. At the time of his death in 1919, Carnegie had given away over $350 million.


The Entrepreneur    from The Great Idea Finder
The Philanthropist   from The Great Idea Finder
Henry Bessemer Biography   from The Great Idea Finder


The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie
by Andrew Carnegie / Paperback: 375 pages / Northeastern University Press; Reissue edition (1986)

After reading about his life you feel like you really start to know him, to get a sense of what kind of human being he was, and even to get a sense of his somewhat remarkable confidence level that exists in conjunction with his pretty inspiring level of benevolence and compassion.
by Peter Krass / Hardcover: 624 pages / John Wiley & Sons; (August 30, 2002)

One of the major figures in American history, Andrew Carnegie was a ruthless businessman who made his fortune in the steel industry and ultimately gave most of it away.
Andrew Carnegie and the Rise of Big Business
by Harold C. Livesay, Oscar Handlin (Editor) / Paperback: 228 pages / Addison-Wesley Pub.; (1999)

Carnegie was involved in reorganizing the whole pattern of industrial activity. Early in his career he changed jobs, moving from textiles to the telegraph office and then to the railroads.
Andrew Carnegie
by Joseph Frazier Wall / Paperback: 1137 pages / Univ of Pittsburgh Pr; 2nd edition (October 1989)

A masterful biography that succeeds as much as a social, political and business history of his time as it does in critically examining the character, beliefs, and relationships of an extraordinary man.

Andrew Carnegie: Prince of Steel
VHS / 1 Volume Set / 50 Minutes / Biography Channel / Less than $25.00
Andrew Carnegie is the classic American success story. He rose from a $1.20 a week job for a thread company to the head of a company that sold for the equivalent of $12.5 billion! Believing that "a rich man who dies rich dies in disgrace," he worked as hard at giving his wealth away as he did to earn it.
American Steel, Built to Last
DVD / 1 Volume Set / 50 Minutes / History Channel / Less than $25.00
Its roots go back to the Ancient Egyptians, whose iron weapons helped maintain an empire that lasted three millennia. But in the 1850s, Englishmen Henry Bessemer invented a process that turned iron into steel, and the world was changed forever. It became the foundation of the corporate empires of Carnegie and Morgan; skyscrapers with skeletons of steel scraped the heavens; steel rails, trains, ships, planes, and automobiles built a transportation network unmatched in the world.


Andrew Carnegie Biography
There were only a few public libraries in the world when, in 1881, Carnegie began to promote his idea. He and the Corporation subsequently spent over $56 million to build 2,509 libraries throughout the English-speaking world. From the Carnegie official Web site.
Andrew Carnegie Birthplace
In the cottage where the millionaire benefactor was born in 1835 is told the family’s story prior to their emigration to the United States.
American Experience - Andrew Carnegie
Later in his life, Carnegie sold his steel business and systematically gave his collected fortune away to cultural, educational and scientific institutions for "the improvement of mankind."
History of Carnegie Mellon University
Since its founding in 1900 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Mellon University has been a pragmatic institution, adapting rapidly to change.
American Library Association
The American Library Association provides leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace was established 1910 in Washington, D.C., with a gift from Andrew Carnegie for the purpose of promoting international peace and understanding.
Andrew Carnegie: A Tribute
Fram The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. "Free to the People"

Carnegie's Address
Excerpts from Andrew Carnegie's address at the dedication of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, 5 November 1895.

"The man who enters a library is in the best society this world affords; the good and the great welcome him, surround him, and humbly ask to be allowed to become his servants...."
-- Andrew Carnegie, 1895

"Two pounds of iron-stone purchased on the shores of Lake Superior and transported to Pittsburgh. Two pounds of coal mined in Connellsville and manufactured into coke and brought to Pittsburgh. One-half pound of limestone mined east of the Alleghenies and brought to Pittsburgh. A little manganese ore mined in Virginia and brought to Pittsburgh. And these four and one half pounds of material manufactured into one pound of solid steel and sold for one cent. That's all that need be said about the steel business," -- Andrew Carnegie


  • During  his lifetime, Carnegie gave away over $350 million. At his death in 1919, the last $30,000,000 was likewise given away to foundations, charities and to pensioners.
  • In 1889 he wrote The Gospel of Wealth, in which he asserted that all personal wealth beyond that required to supply the needs of one's family should be regarded as a trust fund to be administered for the benefit of the community.
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Reference Sources in BOLD Type. This page revised May 1, 2007.

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