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Essay sample on Andrew Carnegie

Essay sample on Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie is remembered as one of the wealthiest tycoons of the 19th century. Born on November 25th 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland, he later moved to the United States where he took jobs in the rail sector. By 1889, he had been able to work in quite a number of railroad projects, acquire resources and start his own company called Carnegie Steel Corporation that was at that time, the largest of its kind globally.

Carnegie sold off the company in 1901 to concentrate on the expansion of his philanthropic work that included the establishment of Carnegie-Mellon University. Although Andrew Carnegie only had limited formal education, he was brought up in a family that believed in the importance of books and learning. Having been born to a handloom weaver, he grew up to become one of the wealthiest businessmen in the United States of America.

When Carnegie’s family came to the US in 1848, he was only 13 years of age but went to work in a factory in the neighborhood earning only $1.20 weekly. One year later, he secured a job as a telegraph messenger and was later on promoted to become a telegraph operator in 1851. Just two years after later, he switched to take another job at the Pennsylvania Railroad where he worked as the assistant and telegrapher to Thomas Scott, one of the top officials of the railroad. While serving at this position, Carnegie was able to learn a lot with regards to business and the railroad industry. Within a span of three years, he received promotion to become the superintendent.

Carnegie began making small investments while working for the railroad. Among the investments that he had been able to start up, he realized that oil raked in substantial returns. In 1865, he quit the railroad to focus on other business interests, including the Keystone Bridge Company. Carnegie built several steel production plants around the country. What propelled his steel company is the fact that he owned the raw materials, ships and railroads used in transport and even coal fields used to power steel furnaces.

In 1901, Carnegie’s life took a dramatic turn when he sold his business to the United States Steel Corporation, which was started by JP Morgan, at a cost of more than $200 million. When he attained 65 years of age, Carnegie decided to spend the rest of his life in philanthropy. Even though he had started philanthropic initiatives much earlier by constructing libraries and giving out donations, he expanded his efforts further in the 20th century.

In his philanthropic work, Carnegie donated about $5 million to the New York Public Library in 1901. Besides, he also established the Carnegie Institute of technology in Pittsburg (Carnegie-Mellon) in 1904, created Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 1905, and formed the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 1910.

Andrew Carnegie enjoyed traveling and was also an author who wrote several books and articles including the Gospel of Wealth. He died of bronchial pneumonia on August 11th 1919 in Lenox, Massachusetts after giving away approximately $4.8 billion of his wealth.

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