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Andrew Carnegie's Biography

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Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, on 25 November 1835.

His father was a weaver and with the advent of the mechanical loom was put out of work and so the Carnegies emigrated to Pittsburg in 1848.

Andrew Carnegie had various jobs including as a textile factory hand, a telegraphist and a railway clerk. He then rose up the ranks in the Pennysylvania Railroad, achieving the position of Superintendent.

In 1865 Carnegie established the company which would eventually grow into the largest iron and steel works in the USA.

Carnegie introduced the Bessemer steel process to the States. This coupled with increasing demand meant that Carnegie Steel Company made huge profits.

Andrew Carnegie was a great believer that wealth should be put to good use and he practiced and preached philanthropy.

One of Carnegie's main benefactions was to public libraries. His donations enabled the setting up of 2500 libraries in the USA and the UK.

Andrew Carnegie retired in 1901 when he sold his company to J.P. Morgan for about $400m.

By the time Carnegie died on 11 August, 1919, it is estimated that he had donated $350 million to charitable causes.

Many people learnt of Carnegie through Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, in which Hill talks of a formula for wealth that Carnegie had established:

"The [money-making] secret was brought to my attention by Andrew Carnegie, more than half-a-century ago. The canny, lovable, old Scotsman tossed it into my mind, when I was but a boy ..."

Carnegie wrote an autobiography and other works including Triumphant Democracy, The Gospel of Wealth and Problems of Today.

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