Biography of Andrew Carnegie


Carnegie, Andrew. Capitalist, manufacturer, philanthropist. Born in Dunfermline, Fifeshire, Scotland, November 25, 1835. Carnegie came with family to United States, 1848, settling in Pittsburgh. First work was as weaver's assistant in cotton factory in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. Became telegraph messenger boy in Pittsburgh office of Ohio Telegraph Company, 1851. Learned telegraphy, entered employ of Pennsylvania Railroad, and became telegraph operator, advancing by promotions until he became superintendent of the Pittsburgh division of the Pennsylvania system. Carnegie joined Mr. Woodruff, inventor of the sleeping car, in organizing Woodruff Sleeping Car Company, gaining through it the nucleus of his fortune. Careful investments in oil lands increased his means. During the Civil War, served as superintendent of military railways and government telegraph lines in the East. After the war, Carnegie developed iron works of various kinds and established, at Pittsburgh, Keystone Bridge Works and Union Iron Works. Introduced into this country Bessemer process of making steel, 1868. Was principal owner a few years later of Homestead and Edgar Thomson Steel Works, and other large plants, as head of firms of Carnegie, Phipps & Company and Carnegie Bros. & Company. Interests were consolidated in 1899 into the Carnegie Steel Company which, in 1901, was merged into the United States Steel Corporation, when he retired from business. Married Louise Whitfield of New York in 1887. He gave libraries to many towns and cities in the United States and Great Britain, and large sums in other benefactions, including $10 million to establish universal peace; $10 million to Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; $5.2 million to New York for the establishment of branch libraries; $24 million to Carnegie Institution, Washington; $10 million to Scotch universities; $5 million to fund for benefit of employees of Carnegie Steel Company, etc., total exceeding $300 million, including over $60 million for more than 3,000 municipal library buildings, and $15 million for college professors' pension fund in the United States, Canada, and Newfoundland. Author: "An American Four-in-Hand in Britain," "Round the World," "Triumphant Democracy," "The Gospel of Wealth," "Empire of Business." Lord rector of St. Andrew's University in 1903 (LL. D., 1905). Died 1919.