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Significant Scots
Andrew Carnegie


Andrew Carnegie (1835 - 1919)

Andrew Carnegie was an American who owned industries and was charitable. At age 33 he had an annual income of $50,000. He said, "Beyond this, never earn, make no effort to increase fortune, but spend the surplus each year for benevolent purposes."

Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland. He went to the U.S. in 1848 and began work short after his arrival as a threading machine attendant in a cotton mill in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. He got paid $1.20 a week. In 1849 he became a messenger in a Pittsburgh telegraph office. He was next employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad as a private secretary to Thomas Alexander Scott.

Carnegie got promoted many times until he was superintendent of the Pittsburgh part of the railroad. He invested in what is now called the Pullman Company and in oil land near Oil City. During the Civil War he served in the War Department under Thomas Alexander Scott. Scott was in charge of military transportation and government telegraphs. After the war was over he went and formed a company that makes iron railroad bridges. He founded a steel mill and was one of the first people to use the Bessemer process. In 1899 he put all of his interests together in the Carnegie Steel Company. He was responsible for almost 25% of the American iron and steel production. In 1901 he sold his company to the United States Steel Corp. for $250 million dollars. He then retired.

Carnegie never received a formal education during his childhood but donated more then $350 million dollars to many different educational, cultural, and peace organizations. His first gift was in 1873. His largest gift was in 1911 for $125 million dollars to the Carnegie Corporation of New York. He also donated money for the construction of what is now the International Court of Justice for the United Nations at The Hague, Netherlands. Carnegie was honored throughout his lifetime.

Here are two articles about him in pdf format...

The Generosity of Andrew Carnegie by 1917
A Character Sketch by Hamilton W. Mabie


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