Andrew Carnegie Essay

1146 Words 5 Pages
A man of Scotland, a distinguished citizen of the United States, and a philanthropist devoted to the betterment of the world around him, Andrew Carnegie became famous at the turn of the twentieth century and became a real life rags to riches story.

Born in Dunfermline, Scotland, on November 25, 1835, Andrew Carnegie entered the world in poverty. The son of a hand weaver, Carnegie received his only formal education during the short time between his birth and his move to the United States. When steam machinery for weaving came into use, Carnegie’s father sold his looms and household goods, sailing to America with his wife and two sons. At this time, Andrew was twelve, and his brother, Thomas, was five. Arriving into New York on August
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After retiring, Carnegie’s fortune was estimated to be as large as half a billion dollars. From that time on, with the philosophy that the rich have a moral obligation to give away their money, he devoted himself to philanthropy. Although ironic, this man of great fortune strongly believed in the merits of poverty for the development of character and work ethic, and determined that wealthy men should not leave their fortunes to their children, but should give it away, claiming "The man who dies thus rich, dies disgraced." The picture of community service, Carnegie is quoted as saying, "Pittsburgh entered the core of my heart when I was a boy, and cannot be torn out. I can never be one hair’s breadth less loyal to her, or less anxious to help her in any way, than I have been since I could help anything. My treasure is still with you, and how best to serve Pittsburgh is the question which occurs to me almost every day of my life."

Colonel James Anderson, who Carnegie believes to be his childhood benefactor, established a public library in his hometown of Allegheny City. This library was the first opportunity for Carnegie to take advantage of free information, and he developed a vast interest for knowledge, checking out at least one book a week, and developing himself as a young boy. With Colonel Anderson’s generous contribution to his society molding Carnegie’s
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