Andrew Carnegie Biography

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The life of Andrew Carnegie is a good example of a real "rags to riches" story. He was born to a poor Scottish family that immigrated to the United States. Later, Carnegie became a powerful businessman and a leading force in the American steel industry. Now, he is remembered as an industrialist, millionaire, and philanthropist. With Carnegie's creed that the wealthy population had an unwritten obligation to give back to society, much of his fortune was donated to causes concerning peace and education.

In 1848, the Carnagie family father immigrated to America, where they settled in Pennsylvania. His father worked as a jobbing hand loom weaver, which forced him to work long hours with minimal pay. At the age of thirteen, Andrew Carnegie found work in the same building as a "Bobbin boy" with a salary of $1.20 per week. Three years after arriving in America, the he began writing about the great virtues of American democracy while criticising feudal British institutions. At the same time, he followed in his father's footsteps and wrote letters to newspapers including the New York Tribune on subjects like slavery or British government.

Carnegie opened his first steel plant in 1875 and shortly thereafter, received an enormous order from that organization for the production of steel rails. Carnegie's growing wealth enabled him to profit from the depression of the 1890s. When others faced bankruptcy, he managed to gobble up steel production facilities. By 1900, he controlled about one-fourth of the nation's steel output. In 1901, J.P. Morgan bought all of Carnegie's steel holdings for the $500 million. Andrew Carnegie in many ways was the perfect stereotype of the American dream. He began with nothing and used his drive and intelligence to become the world's richest man. During the climax of his power, he sold out his holdings and dedicated his remaining years expending his fortune to aid his fellow man.
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