(properly , but commonly or ) (25
November 1835 – 11 August 1919) was a Scottish industrialist
, and a major philanthropist
He is one of the most famous captains of industry of the late 19th
and early 20th centuries.
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
later turned to philanthropy and interests in education, founding
Corporation of New York, Carnegie Endowment
for International Peace, Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Museums of
gave away most of his money to establish many libraries, schools,
and universities in America, the United Kingdom and other countries, as well as a pension fund for
He is often regarded as the second-richest man in
after John D.
. Carnegie started as
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.
He earned most of his fortune in the steel industry
. 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 U.S. Steel. Carnegie
devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy, with
special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, education and
scientific research. His life has often been referred to as a true
"rags to riches
Andrew Carnegie was born on
25 November 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland in a typical
weaver's cottage with only one main room consisting of half the
ground floor which was shared with the neighbouring weaver's
The main room would serve as a living room, dining
room and bedroom. He was named after his paternal grandfather
. In 1836, the family moved to a
larger house in Edgar Street (opposite Reid's Park), following the
demand for more heavy damask which his father, William Carnegie
benefited from. His uncle, George Lauder to whom he referred to as
"dod" introduced him to the writings of Robert Burns
and such historical Scottish
heroes as Robert the Bruce
, and Rob Roy
. Falling on very hard
times as a handloom weaver and with the country in starvation,
William Carnegie decided to emigrate with his family to Allegheny, Pennsylvania in the
States in 1848 for the prospect of a better life.
Andrew's family had to borrow money in order to emigrate. Allegheny
was a very poor area. His first job at age 13 in 1848 was as a
, changing spools of thread in
a cotton mill twelve hours a day, six days a week. His wages were
$1.25 per week. Andrew's father, William Carnegie, started off
working in a cotton mill but then would earn money weaving and
peddling linens. His mother, Margaret Morrison Carnegie, earned
money by binding shoes.
In 1850, Carnegie became a telegraph messenger boy in the
Pittsburgh Office of the Ohio
, at $2.50 per week, following the
recommendation of his uncle. His new job gave him many benefits
including free admission to the local theater. This made him
appreciate Shakespeare's work.He was a very hard worker and would
memorize all of the locations of Pittsburgh's businesses and the
faces of important men. He made many connections this way. He also
paid close attention to the telegraph's instruments and within a
year was promoted as an operator.
Carnegie's education and passion for reading was given a great
boost by Colonel James Anderson, who opened his personal library of
400 volumes to working boys each Saturday night. Carnegie was a
consistent borrower and a "self-made man" in both his economic
development and his intellectual and cultural development. His
capacity, willingness for hard work, his perseverance, and his
alertness soon brought forth opportunities. At work, Carnegie
quickly taught himself to distinguish the differing sounds the
incoming telegraph signals produced and learned to transcribe
signals by ear, without having to write them down.
Starting in 1853, Thomas A. Scott
of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company
employed Carnegie as a secretary/telegraph operator at a salary of
$4.00 per week. At age eighteen, the youth began a rapid
advancement through the company, becoming the superintendent of the
Pittsburgh Division. His employment by the Pennsylvania would be
vital to his later success. The railroads were the first big
businesses in America, and the Pennsylvania was one of the largest
of them all. Carnegie learned much about management and cost
control during these years, and from Scott in particular.
Scott also helped him with his first investments. Many of these
were part of the corruption indulged in by Scott and the
Pennsylvania's president, J. Edgar Thomson, which consisted of
inside trading in companies that the railroad did business with, or
payoffs made by contracting parties "as part of a quid pro quo," as
biographer David Nasaw writes. In 1855, Scott made it possible for
Carnegie to invest $500 in the Adams Express
, which contracted with
the Pennsylvania to carry its messengers. The money was secured by
the act of his mother placing a $500 mortgage on the family's $700
home, but the opportunity was only available because of Carnegie's
close relationship with Scott. A few years later, he received a few
shares in T.T. Woodruff's sleeping car company, as a reward for
holding shares that Woodruff had given to Scott and Thomson, as a
payoff. Reinvesting his returns in such inside investments in
railroad-related industries: (iron
, and rails
slowly accumulated capital, the basis for his later success.
Throughout his later career, he made use of his close connection to
Thomson and Scott as he established businesses that supplied rails
and bridges to the railroad, offering the two men a stake in his
1860–1865:The Civil War
Before the Civil War
arranged a merger between Woodruff's company and that of George M
Pullman, the inventor of a sleeping car
for first-class travel which facilitated business travel at
distances over . The investment proved a great success and a source
of profit for Woodruff and Carnegie. The young Carnegie continued
to work for the Pennsylvania's Tom Scott, and introduced several
improvements in the service.
In spring 1861, Carnegie was appointed by Scott, who was now
Assistant Secretary of War in charge of military
transportation, as Superintendent of the
Military Railways and the Union Government's telegraph lines in the
East. Carnegie helped open the rail lines into Washington that the
rebels had cut; he rode the locomotive pulling the first brigade of
Union troops to reach Washington. Following the defeat of Union forces at
Run, he personally supervised the transportation of the
Under his organization, the telegraph
service rendered efficient service to the Union cause and
significantly assisted in the eventual victory. Carnegie later
joked that he was "the first casualty of the war" when he gained a
scar on his cheek from freeing a trapped telegraph wire.
Defeat of the Confederacy required vast supplies of munitions
, as well as railroads (and telegraph
lines) to deliver the goods. The war demonstrated how integral the
industries were to American success.
Carnegie invested $40,000 in Storey Farm on Oil Creek in Venango County,
In one year, the farm yielded over
$1,000,000 in cash dividends, and petroleum
from oil wells
on the property sold profitably. The demand for iron products, such
as armor for gunboats, cannon
, and shells, as
well as a hundred other industrial products, made Pittsburgh a
center of wartime production. Carnegie worked with others in
establishing a steel rolling mill
and steel production and control
of industry became the source of his fortune. Carnegie had some
investments in the iron industry before the war.
After the war, Carnegie left the railroads to devote all his
energies to the ironworks trade. Carnegie worked to develop several
iron works, eventually forming The Keystone Bridge Works and the
Union Ironworks, in Pittsburgh. Although he had left the
Pennsylvania Railroad Company, he remained closely connected to its
management, namely Thomas A. Scott and J. Edgar Thomson. He used
his connection to the two men to acquire contracts for his Keystone
Bridge Company and the rails produced by his ironworks. He also
gave stock to Scott and Thomson in his businesses, and the
Pennsylvania was his best customer. When he built his first steel
plant, he made a point of naming it after Thomson. As well as
having good business sense, Carnegie possessed charm and literary
knowledge. He was invited to many important social
functions—functions that Carnegie exploited to his own advantage.
Carnegie, circa 1878
Carnegie believed in using his fortune for others and doing more
than making money. He wrote:
1880–1900: Scholar and activist
Carnegie continued his business career; some of his literary
intentions were fulfilled. He befriended English poet Matthew Arnold
and English philosopher
as well as being in
correspondence and acquaintance with most of the U.S. Presidents
, statesmen, and
Carnegie erected commodious swimming-baths for the people of his
hometown in Dunfermline, Scotland in 1879. In the following year,
Carnegie gave $40,000 for the establishment of a free library in
Dunfermline. In 1884, he gave $50,000 to Bellevue Hospital Medical
(now part of New York University Medical
) to found a histological
laboratory, now called the Carnegie
Carnegie took his family, including his 70 year-old mother, on a
trip to the United
They toured Scotland by coach, and enjoyed
several receptions en-route. The highlight for them all was a
triumphal return to his native town of Dunfermline, where
Carnegie's mother laid the foundation stone of a Carnegie Library
for which he donated the money. Carnegie's criticism of British
society did not mean dislike; on the contrary, one of Carnegie's
ambitions was to act as a catalyst
close association between the English-speaking peoples. To this
end, in the early 1880s, he purchased numerous newspapers in
England, all of which were to advocate the abolition of the
and the establishment of "the
British Republic". Carnegie's charm aided by his great wealth meant
that he had many British friends, including Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
In 1886, Andrew Carnegie's younger brother Thomas died at age 43.
Success in the business continued, however. While owning steel
works, Carnegie had purchased at low cost the most valuable of the
iron ore fields around Lake Superior.
The same year Carnegie became a figure of
controversy. Following his tour of the UK, he wrote about his
experiences in a book entitled An American Four-in-hand in
. Although still actively involved in running his
many businesses, Carnegie had become a regular contributor to
numerous magazines, most notably the Nineteenth Century
under the editorship of James
, and the influential North American Review
led by editor Lloyd Bryce
In 1886 Carnegie wrote his most radical work to date, entitled
. Liberal in its use of statistics to
make its arguments, the book argued his view that the American
system of government was
superior to the British monarchical
It gave a highly favorable and idealized view of American progress
and criticized the British royal family. The cover depicted an
upended royal crown
and a broken
scepter. The book created considerable controversy in the UK. The
book made many Americans appreciate their country's economic
progress and sold over 40,000 copies, mostly in the U.S.
In 1889, Carnegie published "Wealth"
in the June issue of the North
. After reading it, Gladstone requested its
publication in England, where it appeared as "The Gospel of Wealth"
in the Pall Mall Gazette
The article was the subject of much discussion. Carnegie argued
that the life of a wealthy industrialist should comprise two parts.
The first part was the gathering and the accumulation of wealth.
The second part was for the subsequent distribution of this wealth
to benevolent causes. The philanthropy was key to making the life
Carnegie was also known to be a great journalist. This came about
from his experience in constantly writing to newspapers and to
their editors. His knowledge in reading newspapers stems from a
habit from his childhood. He also would go on to publish three
books on travel. One of them entitled "Round the world" he began
writing while traveling England and Scotland.
Carnegie tried to arrange for independence for the Philippines. As the end of the Spanish American War neared, the
States bought the Philippines from Spain for $20
what he perceived as imperialism on the part of the United States,
Carnegie personally offered $20 million USD to the Philippines so
that the Filipino people
their independence from the United States. However, nothing came of
this gesture and the Philippine-American War
opposed the annexation of Cuba by the
United States and in this, was successful with many other
conservatives who founded an anti-imperialist league that
included former presidents of the United States, Grover Cleveland and Benjamin Harrison, and literary figures
like Mark Twain.
1885–1900: Empire of Steel
Carnegie made his fortune in the steel industry, controlling the
most extensive integrated iron and steel operations ever owned by
an individual in the United States. One of his two great
innovations was in the cheap and efficient mass production of steel
rails for railroad lines. The second was in his vertical integration
of all suppliers
of raw materials. In the late 1880s, Carnegie Steel was the largest
manufacturer of pig iron
, steel rails, and
in the world, with a capacity to
produce approximately 2,000 tons of pig
per day. In 1888, Carnegie bought the rival Homestead Steel Works
, which included
an extensive plant served by tributary coal
iron fields, a 425-mile (685 km) long railway, and a line of
combined his assets and those of his associates in 1892 with the
launching of the Carnegie Steel
the U.S. output of
steel exceeded that of the UK, and Carnegie owned a large part of
it. Carnegie's empire grew to include the
J. Edgar Thomson Steel Works, (named for John
Edgar Thomson, Carnegie's former boss and president of the
Pennsylvania Railroad), Pittsburgh Bessemer Steel Works, the Lucy
Furnaces, the Union Iron Mills, the Union Mill (Wilson, Walker
& County), the Keystone Bridge Works, the Hartman Steel Works,
the Frick Coke Company, and the Scotia ore mines.
through Keystone, supplied the steel for and owned shares in the
Bridge project across the Mississippi River at St. Louis,
Missouri (completed 1874).
This project was an
important proof-of-concept for steel technology, which marked the
opening of a new steel market.
1901: U.S. Steel
In 1901, Carnegie was 66 years of age and considering retirement.
He reformed his enterprises into conventional joint stock
corporations as preparation to this end. John Pierpont Morgan
was a banker and
perhaps America's most important financial deal maker. He had
observed how efficiently Carnegie produced profit. He envisioned an
integrated steel industry that would cut costs, lower prices to
consumers, produce in greater quantities and raise wages to
workers. To this end, he needed to buy out Carnegie and several
other major producers and integrate them into one company, thereby
eliminating duplication and waste. He concluded negotiations on 2
March 1901, and formed the United States Steel
. It was the first corporation in the world with a
market capitalization over $1 billion.
The buyout, secretly negotiated by Charles M. Schwab
(no relation to Charles R. Schwab
), was the largest such industrial
takeover in United States history to date. The holdings were
incorporated in the United States Steel Corporation, a trust
organized by Morgan, and Carnegie retired from business. His steel
enterprises were bought out at a figure equivalent to twelve times
their annual earnings—$480 million (approximately $10.3 billion in
2003 prices- according to Gale Virtual Reference Library)—which at
the time was the largest ever personal commercial
Carnegie's share of this amounted to $225,639,000, which was paid
to Carnegie in the form of 5%, 50-year gold bonds. The letter
agreeing to sell his share was signed on 26 February 1901. On 2
March, the circular formally filing the organization and
capitalization (at $1,400,000,000—4% of U.S. national wealth at the
time) of the United States Steel Corporation actually completed the
contract. The bonds were to be delivered within two
weeks to the Hudson Trust Company of Hoboken, New Jersey, in trust to Robert A.
business secretary. There, a special vault was built to house the
physical bulk of nearly $230,000,000 worth of bonds. It was said
that "...Carnegie never wanted to see or touch these bonds that
represented the fruition of his business career. It was as if he
feared that if he looked upon them they might vanish like the
gossamer gold of the leprechaun. Let them lie safe in a vault in
New Jersey, safe from the New York tax assessors, until he was
ready to dispose of them..."
Carnegie spent his last years as a philanthropist
. From 1901 forward, public
attention was turned from the shrewd business acumen which had
enabled Carnegie to accumulate such a fortune, to the
public-spirited way in which he devoted himself to utilizing it on
philanthropic projects. He had written about his views on social
subjects and the responsibilities of great wealth in Triumphant
(1886) and Gospel of
(1889). Carnegie bought Skibo Castle, in Sutherland, Scotland, and made his home partly there and partly in New
He then devoted his life to providing the capital for
purposes of public interest and social and educational
He was a powerful supporter of the movement for spelling reform
as a means of promoting the
spread of the English
Among his many philanthropic efforts, the establishment of public libraries
throughout the United
States, the United Kingdom, and other English-speaking countries
was especially prominent. Carnegie
, as they were commonly called, were built in many
places. The first was opened in 1883 in Dunfermline, Scotland. His
method was to build and equip, but only on condition that the local
authority matched that by providing the land and a budget for
operation and maintenance. To secure local interest, in 1885, he gave
$500,000 to Pittsburgh for a public library, and in 1886, he gave
$250,000 to Allegheny City for a music hall and library; and
$250,000 to Edinburgh, Scotland, for a free library. In total Carnegie
funded some 3,000 libraries, located in 47 US states, and also in
Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the West
Indies, and Fiji.
donated £50,000 to help set up the University
of Birmingham in 1899.
As VanSlyck (1991) showed, the last years of the 19th century saw
acceptance of the idea that free libraries should be available to
the American public. But the design of the idealized free library
was the subject of prolonged and heated debate. On one hand, the
library profession called for designs that supported efficiency in
administration and operation; on the other, wealthy philanthropists
favored buildings that reinforced the paternalistic metaphor and
enhanced civic pride. Between 1886 and 1917, Carnegie reformed both
library philanthropy and library design, encouraging a closer
correspondence between the two.
The Broome County Public Library in New York opened in October
1904. Originally called the Binghamton Public Library, it was
created with a gift of $75,000 from Andrew Carnegie. The building
was designed to serve as both a public library and a community
He gave $2 million in 1901 to start the Carnegie Institute of
(CIT) at Pittsburgh, and the same amount in 1902 to
found the Carnegie Institution
at Washington, D.C. He later contributed more to these and other
schools. CIT is now part of Carnegie
Mellon University. Carnegie served on the Board of Cornell
Andrew Carnegie became a sympathetic benefactor to George Ellery Hale, who was trying to
build the 100 inch (2.5 m) Hooker
telescope at Mount Wilson, and donated an additional ten million dollars to
Institution with the following suggestion to expedite the
construction of the telescope: "I hope the
work at Mount Wilson will be vigorously pushed, because I am so
anxious to hear the expected results from it.
I should like
to be satisfied before I depart, that we are going to repay to the
old land some part of the debt we owe them by revealing more
clearly than ever to them the new heavens." The telescope saw
on November 2,
1917, with Carnegie still alive.
In Scotland, he gave $10 million in 1901 to establish the Carnegie Trust
for the Universities of Scotland
, a fund to assist education at
Scottish universities. He was subsequently elected Lord Rector of University
of St. Andrews.
He also donated large sums of money to
Dunfermline, the place of his birth. In addition to a
library, Carnegie also bought the private estate which became
Park and opened it to all members of the public,
establishing the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust to benefit the people
A statue of him stands there today. He gave
a further $10 million in 1913 to endow the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust
a grant-making foundation.
Carnegie also established large pension funds in 1901 for his
former employees at Homestead and, in 1905, for American college
professors. The latter fund evolved into TIAA-CREF
. One critical requirement was that
church-related schools had to sever their religious connections to
get his money.
His interest in music led him to fund construction of 7,000 church
organs. He built and owned Carnegie Hall in New York
was a large benefactor of the Tuskegee Institute under Booker
helped Booker T. Washington
create the National Negro Business
He founded the Carnegie Hero Fund
for the United States and Canada in 1904 (a few years later also
established in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden,
France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and Germany) for
the recognition of deeds of heroism. Carnegie contributed
$1,500,000 in 1903 for the erection of the Peace Palace at The
Hague; and he donated $150,000 for a Pan-American Palace in Washington as a
home for the International Bureau of American
was honored for his philanthropy and support of the arts by
initiation as an honorary member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity on
October 14, 1917 at the New England
Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.
The fraternity's mission reflects
Carnegie's values by developing young men to share their talents to
create harmony in the world.
By the standards of 19th century tycoons, Carnegie was not a
particularly ruthless man but a Christian humanitarian with enough
acquisitiveness to go in the ruthless pursuit of money; on the
other hand, the contrast between his life and the lives of many of
his own workers and of the poor, in general, was stark. "Maybe with
the giving away of his money," commented biographer Joseph Wall
, "he would justify what he
had done to get that money."
Andrew Carnegie represents to some what is the idea of the American
dream. He was an immigrant from Scotland who came to America and
became successful. He is not only known for his successes but his
enormous amounts of philanthropist works, not only to charities but
also to promote democracy and independence to colonized
died on 11 August 1919 in Lenox, Massachusetts of bronchial pneumonia.
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
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
1889: Johnstown Flood
was one of more than 50 members of the South Fork Fishing and
Hunting Club, which was blamed for the Johnstown
Flood that killed more than 2,200 people in
At the suggestion of his friend Benjamin Ruff, Carnegie's partner
Henry Clay Frick
had formed the
exclusive South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club high above Johnstown,
Pennsylvania. The charter members of the South Fork Fishing and
Hunting Club were: Benjamin Ruff; T. H. Sweat; Charles J. Clarke;
Thomas Clark; Walter F. Fundenberg; Howard Hartley; Henry C.
Yeager; J. B. White; Henry Clay Frick; E. A. Myers; C. C. Hussey;
D. R. Ewer; C. A. Carpenter; W. L. Dunn; W. L. McClintock; and A.
The sixty-odd club members were the leading business tycoons of
Western Pennsylvania and included among their number Frick’s best
friend, Andrew Mellon
, his attorneys
and James Hay Reed, as
well as Frick's business partner Andrew Carnegie. The Club members
created what would then be the world's largest earthen dam, behind
which formed a private lake called Lake Conemaugh. Less than 20
miles downstream from the dam sat the city of Johnstown, and
Carnegie Steel's chief competitor (from whom Carnegie had hired
away steelmaking expert Bill Jones), the Cambria Iron and Steel
Company, which boasted the world's largest annual steel
maintenance, unusually high snowmelt and heavy spring rains
combined to cause the dam to give way on May 31, 1889 resulting in
When word of the dam's failure was
telegraphed to Pittsburgh, Frick and other members of the South
Fork Fishing and Hunting Club gathered to form the Pittsburgh
Relief Committee for assistance to the flood victims as well as
determining never to speak publicly about the club or the flood.
This strategy was a success, and Knox and Reed were able to fend
off all lawsuits that would have placed blame upon the club’s
Although Cambria Iron and Steel's facilities were heavily damaged
by the flood, they returned to full production within a year and a
half. By that time, Carnegie's steel production had outstripped
Cambria's. After the flood, Carnegie built Johnstown a new library
to replace the one built by Cambria's chief legal counsel Cyrus
Elder, which was destroyed in the flood. The Carnegie-donated
library is now owned by the Johnstown Area Heritage Association,
and houses the Flood Museum.
1892: Homestead Strike
The Homestead Strike
The Homestead Strike
was a bloody
labor confrontation lasting 143 days in 1892, one of the most
serious in U.S. history. The conflict was centered around Carnegie
Steel's main plant in Homestead, Pennsylvania, and grew out of a dispute between the National
Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers of the United
States and the Carnegie Steel Company.
Carnegie left on a trip to Scotland before the unrest peaked. In
doing so, Carnegie left mediation of the dispute in the hands of
his associate and partner Henry Clay
. Frick was well known in industrial circles for
maintaining staunch anti-union sensibilities.
After a recent increase in profits by 60%, the company refused to
raise worker's pay by more than 30%. When some of the workers
demanded the full 60%, management locked the union out. Workers
considered the stoppage a "lockout
" by management and not a
" by workers. As such, the
workers would have been well within their rights to protest, and
subsequent government action would have been a set of criminal
procedures designed to crush what was seen as a pivotal
demonstration of the growing labor rights movement, strongly
opposed by management. Frick brought in thousands of strikebreakers
to work the steel mills and Pinkerton
July, the arrival of a force of 300 Pinkerton agents from New York
City and Chicago resulted in a fight in which 10 men—seven strikers
and three Pinkertons—were killed and hundreds were injured.
Pennsylvania Governor Robert
ordered two brigades of state militia to the strike
site. Then, allegedly in response to the fight between the striking
workers and the Pinkertons, anarchist
shot at Frick in
an attempted assassination, wounding Frick. While not directly
connected to the strike, Berkman was tied in for the assassination
attempt. According to Berkman, "...with the elimination of Frick,
responsibility for Homestead conditions would rest with Carnegie."
Afterwards, the company successfully resumed operations with
non-union immigrant employees in place of the Homestead plant
workers, and Carnegie returned to the United States. However,
Carnegie's reputation was permanently damaged by the Homestead
Andrew Carnegie Dictum
A) To spend the first third of one's life getting all the education
B) To spend the next third making all the money one can.
C) To spend the last third giving it all away for worthwhile
Carnegie at Skibo Castle, 1914
As early as 1868, at age 33, he drafted a memo to himself. He
wrote: "...The amassing of wealth is one of the worse species of
idolatry. No idol more debasing than the worship of money."In order
to avoid degrading himself, he wrote in the same memo he would
retire at age 35 to pursue the practice of philanthropic giving for
"...the man who dies thus rich dies disgraced." However, he did not
begin his philanthropic work in all earnest until 1881, with the
gift of a library to his hometown of Dunfermline, Scotland.
Carnegie wrote "The Gospel of
", an article in which he stated his belief that the rich
should use their wealth to help enrich society.
The following is taken from one of Carnegie's memos to
In 1908, he commissioned (at no pay) Napoleon Hill
, then a journalist, to interview
more than 500 wealthy achievers to find out the common threads of
their success. Hill eventually became a Carnegie collaborator.
Their work was published in 1928 after Carnegie's death in Hill's
book The Law of Success
(ISBN 0-87980-447-5) and in 1937, Think and Grow Rich
1-59330-200-2). The latter has not been out of print since it was
first published and has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.
In 1960, Hill published an abridged version of the book containing
the Andrew Carnegie formula for wealth creation. For years it was
the only version generally available. In 2004, Ross Cornwell
published Think and Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored
(Second Printing 2007), which restored the book to
its original content, with slight revisions, and added
comprehensive end notes, an index, and an appendix.
Religion and world view
Witnessing the sectarianism and strife in 19th century Scotland
regarding religion and philosophy, Carnegie kept his distance from
organized religion and theism. Carnegie instead preferred to see
things through naturalistic and scientific terms stating, "Not only
had I got rid of the theology and the supernatural, but I had found
the truth of evolution."
Carnegie eventually came to identify himself as a positivist
. He held much hope for humanity in
what may be termed a humanistic view on life, shaped also by the
Scottish values with which he was raised. After the outbreak of the
First World War
and its slaughter,
Carnegie underwent a crisis of ideology in his positivist
Later in life, Carnegie's firm opposition to religion softened.
While he never professed belief in a particular religion, he did
accompany his wife and daughter to church. He also prepared (but
did not deliver) an address to St. Andrews in which he professed a
belief in "an Infinite and Eternal Energy from which all things
Influenced by his "favorite living hero in public life", the
British liberal, John Bright
started his efforts in pursuit of world peace at a young age. His
motto, "All is well since all grows better", served not only as a
good rationalisation of his successful business career but also in
his view of international relations.
Despite his love and efforts towards international peace, Carnegie
faced many dilemmas on his quest for world peace. These dilemmas
are often regarded as conflicts between his view on international
relations and his other loyalties. Throughout the 1880s and 1890s,
by example, Carnegie allowed his steel works to fill large orders
of armour plate for the building of an enlarged and modernized
United States Navy; while he opposed American oversea expansion.
And he also had controversial criticisms of the British class
structure which seemed to conflict with his promotion of Anglo-American
On the matter of American annexation, Carnegie had always thought
it is an unwise gesture for the United States. He did not oppose
the annexation of the Hawaiian islands, Cuba and Puerto Rico, but
Carnegie stood still on his opposition towards the annexation of
the Philippines. Because unlike the Hawaiians, Cubans and Puerto
Ricans, the Filipinos were willing to fight for their independence,
Carnegie believed that the conquest of the islands is a denial of
the fundamental democratic principle, and he also urged William McKinley
to withdraw American
troops and allow the Filipinos to live with their independence.
This act well impressed the other American anti-imperialists, who
soon elected him vice-president of the Anti-Imperialist League
After he sold his steel company in 1901, Carnegie was able to get
fully involved into the acts for the peace cause, both financially
and personally. He gave away most of his fortunes to various peace
keeping agencies in order to keep them growing. When his friend,
the British publicist William T.
, asked him to create a new
organisation for the goal of a peace and arbitration society, his
reply was as such:
Carnegie believed that it is the effort and will of the people that
maintains the peace in international relations. Money is just a
push for the act; if it solely depended on financial support, world
peace would not seem a goal, but more like an act of pity.
The creation of the Carnegie Endowment
for International Peace
at 1910 was regarded as a milestone on
the road to the ultimate abolition of war. Despite a gift of $10
million for peace promotion, Carnegie also encourage the
"scientific" investigation of the various causes of war and the
adoption of judicial methods that would eventually eliminate them.
He believes that the Endowment is there to promote information on
the nations' rights and responsibilities under existing
international law and encourage other conferences to codify this
In 1914, on the eve of the First World
, Carnegie founded the Church Peace Union (CPU), a group of
leaders in religion, academia, and politics. Through the CPU,
Carnegie hoped to mobilise the world's churches, religious
organisations, and other spiritual and moral resources to join in
promoting moral leadership to put an end to war forever. For its
inaugural international event, the CPU sponsored a conference to be
held on August 1, 1914, on the shores of Lake Constance in southern
Germany. As the delegates made their way to the conference by
train, Germany was invading Belgium.
Despite its inauspicious beginning, the CPU thrived. Today its
focus is on ethics and it is known as the Carnegie
Council for Ethics in International Affairs
, an independent,
nonpartisan, nonprofit organisation, whose mission is to be the
voice for ethics in international affairs.
The outbreak of the First World War was clearly a shock to Carnegie
and his optimistic view on world peace. Although his promotion of
anti-imperialism and world peace had all failed, and the Carnegie
Endowment had not fulfilled his expectations; but his beliefs and
ideas on international relations had helped build the foundation of
the League of Nations
death, which took world peace to another level.
Carnegie was a frequent contributor to periodicals on labor issues.
In addition to Triumphant
(1886), and The Gospel of Wealth
also wrote An
American Four-in-hand in Britain
(1883), Round the World
(1884), The Empire of Business
Secret of Business is the Management of Men
Problems of Today
and his posthumously published autobiography Autobiography of
Legacy and honors
Carnegie's personal papers reside at the Library of
Congress Manuscript Division.
dinosaur Diplodocus carnegiei
(Hatcher) was named for Andrew Carnegie after he sponsored the
expedition that discovered its remains in the Morrison Formation (Jurassic) of Utah.
Carnegie was so proud of “Dippi” that he had casts made of the
bones and plaster replicas of the whole skeleton donated to several
museums in Europe. The original fossil
skeleton is assembled and stands in the Hall of Dinosaurs at the
Carnegie Museum of Natural
History in Pittsburgh.
the Spanish American War, Carnegie offered to donate $20 million
USD to the Philippines so they could buy their independence.
- Carnegie, Pennsylvania, and Carnegie, Oklahoma, were named in his honor.
- The Saguaro cactus's scientific name,
Carnegiea, is named after him.
- The Carnegie Medal for the best
children's literature published in the UK was established in his
Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education, at Leeds
Metropolitan University, UK, is named after him. This has filtered
out to include the Carnegie
Challenge Cup, and it seems likely, in September 2009, that the
university will be renamed 'Leeds Carnegie University'.
- Carnegie Hall in New
York was named after Andrew Carnegie in his
- At the height of his career, Carnegie was the second-richest
person in the world, behind only John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil.
- Lauder College (named after his uncle who encouraged him to get
an education) in the Halbeth area of Dunfermline was renamed
Carnegie College in 2007 in his
The Carnegie Collections of the Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
consist of the archives of the
following organizations founded by Andrew Carnegie: The Carnegie Corporation of New
(CCNY); The Carnegie Endowment
for International Peace
(CEIP); the Carnegie
Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Council on Ethics and International Affairs (CCEIA). These
collections deal primarily with Carnegie philanthropy and have very
little personal material related to Mr. Carnegie.
- MacKay Little Boss: A life of Andrew Carnegie
- MacKay Little Boss: A life of Andrew Carnegie
- MacKay Little Boss:A life of Andrew Carnegie
- Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie p. 34
- Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie p. 37
- Nasaw, David, Andrew Carnegie (New York: The Penguin
Press, 2006), pp. 54-59, 64–65.
- Nasaw, pp. 59-60.
- Nasaw, pp. 59-60; Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie p. 79
- Nasaw, pp. 59-60, 85-88, 102-104, 107.
- Nasaw, pp. 105-107.
- John K. Winkler Incredible Carnegie, p. 172, Read
Books, 2006 ISBN 978-1406729467
- John K. Winkler Incredible Carnegie, p. 13, Read
Books, 2006 ISBN 978-1406729467
- Swetnam, George (1980) Andrew Carnegie. Twayne
- Livesay, Harold (2000) "Andrew Carnegie and the rise of big
business". Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers.(
- Andrew Carnegie timeline of events at
- Robert P. Porter Industrial Cuba, p. 43, G. P.
Putnam's Sons, 1899
- Katherine Hirschfeld Health, Politics and Revolution in
Cuba, p. 117, Transaction Publishers, 2008 ISBN
- Industrial Cuba
- The Carnegie Committee, Cornell Alumni
News, II(10), 29 November 1899, p. 6
- History of Mount Wilson Observatory - Building the
100-Inch Telescope. Article was written by Mike Simmons in 1984
for the Mount Wilson Observatory
- Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland
- Carnegie United Kingdom Trust website
- Paul Krause The Battle for Homestead 1880-1892, p.
233, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992 ISBN 978-0822954668
- The American Experience | Andrew Carnegie | Program
- Swetnam, George. (1980) Twayne Publishers.
- Alexander Berkman Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist, p.
67, Mother Earth Publishing Association, 1912
- Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist by Alexander
- Robert A. Cole Issues in Web-based Pedagogies, p. 4,
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001 ISBN 978-0313321580
- Maury Klein The Change Makers, p. 57, Macmillan, 2004
- Dwight Burlingame Philanthropy in America, p. 60,
ABC-CLIO, 2004 ISBN 978-1576078600
- Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie pp.
- Nasaw, David. Andrew Carnegie (New York: The Penguin Press,
- Carnegie, Andrew. Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie (1920,
2006). ISBN 1-59986-967-5 (p. 339)
- Carnegie, Andrew. Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie (Boston,
1920), Ch. 21, pp. 282-283
- Carnegie, Andrew. An American Four-in-Hand in Britain (New
York, 1883), pp. 14-15
- Carnegie, Andrew. Triumphant Democracy, passim
- Carnegie, Andrew. "American Versus Imperialism," esp.
- Patterson, David S. Andrew Carnegie's Quest for World Peace.
Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 114, No. 5
(October 20, 1970), pp. 371-383
- Carnegie, Andrew (1903). The Secret of Business is the Management of
- Josephson; Matthew. The Robber Barons: The Great American
Capitalists, 1861-1901 (1938, 1987). ISBN 99918-47-99-5.
- Morris, Charles R. The Tycoons: How Andrew Carnegie, John
D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and J. P.
Morgan Invented the American Supereconomy (2005). ISBN
- Krass, Peter. Carnegie (2002). ISBN
- Lester, Robert M. (1941) Forty Years of Carnegie Giving: A
Summary of the Benefactions of Andrew Carnegie and of the Work of
the Philanthropic Trusts Which He Created. New York: C.
- Livesay, Harold C. Andrew Carnegie and the Rise of Big
Business, 2nd Edition (1999). short biography ISBN
- Lorenzen, Michael. (1999). Deconstructing the Carnegie
Libraries: The Sociological Reasons Behind Carnegie's Millions to
Public Libraries. Illinois Libraries 81, no. 2,
- Nasaw, David. Andrew Carnegie (New York: The Penguin
Press, 2006), along with Wall the most detailed scholarly
- Patterson, David S. "Andrew Carnegie's Quest for World Peace"
Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 114, No. 5
(October 20, 1970), pp. 371–383
- Rees, Jonathan. "Homestead in Context: Andrew Carnegie and the
Decline of the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers."
Pennsylvania History 1997 64(4): 509-533. Issn:
- Ritt Jr., Michael J., and Landers, Kirk. A Lifetime of
Riches. ISBN 0-525-94146-0.
- VanSlyck, Abigail A. "'The Utmost Amount of Effective
Accommodation': Andrew Carnegie and the Reform of the American
Library." Journal of the Society of Architectural
Historians 1991 50(4): 359-383. Issn: 0037-9808 Fulltext: in
- Wall, Joseph Frazier. Andrew Carnegie (1989). ISBN
0-8229-5904-6. along with Nasaw the most detailed scholarly
- Whaples, Robert. "Andrew Carnegie", EH.Net Encyclopedia of Economic
and Business History.