Andrew Carnegie Biography  

Andrew Carnegie was a renowned industrialist and philanthropist. His is a brief insight into his life. He was born in the city of Dunfermline located in Scotland on 25 November 1835. He did not receive any formal education, but his family inculcated a love for learning and books. His father was a handloom weaver.


The Carnegie family relocated to Allegheny in Pennsylvania, US, when Andrew was 13 years old. This was in the year 1848. On arriving to the US, Andrew began working in a factory where he was drawing $1.20 every week. The following year, Andrew changed his job and ended up becoming a telegraph messenger. Then he went on to become a telegraph operator in the year 1851. However, he stayed in this job for just 2 years, as in the year 1853, he joined the Pennsylvania Railroad. He was hired as an assistant to Thomas Scott, who was one of the important managers of the company. It is in this job that Andrew learned about business and the railroad. He stayed in this position for 3 years and was then made into a superintendent.

While Andrew was working for the railroad company, he invested his money wisely. His investments brought him good returns. This prompted him to leave the railroad company and begin concentrating on his business ventures, particularly in Keystone Bridge Company where he had invested money. Within a span of 10 years, Andrew Carnegie set up his own steel company and had steel plants across the US. He was famous for using revolutionary techniques to make the manufacturing process not only easier, but also more productive and faster. And, by the year 1889, Carnegie Steel Company was the biggest steel manufacturer in the world and Andrew had ended up becoming a steel tycoon.

However, there were some people who believed that Andrew’s success came at the expense of the company’s workforce. This belief further gained impetus when in the year 1892, the steel plant located in Homestead, in the state of Pennsylvania, saw labor problem arising due to low wages. The workers stopped working and went on a strike. This strike became popularly known as the Homestead Strike of 1892. Unfortunately, the strike turned violent and many people got killed. Even though Carnegie was in the country at the time of the strike, the actions taken by his managers ruined his reputation forever as a businessman and employer.

By the time the turn of the century came, Carnegie decided to sell his steel company to the US Steel Corporation. This sale earned the 65-year old Andrew over two hundred million dollars. After selling his business, Andrew spent the rest of life doing philanthropic work. He was instrumental in constructing libraries around the country and giving huge sums of donations. He was also responsible for starting the Carnegie Mellon University in the year 1904. The following year, he formed the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He even set up the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in the year 1910.

The story of Andrew Carnegie came to an end on August 11, 1919. He succumbed to bronchial pneumonia. His internment took place at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery located in New York.

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Andrew Carnegie Biography

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How Did Andrew Carnegie Affect The Labor Unions ?      Andrew Carnegie was a typical rag to riches story. He was envied for becoming rich after starting from humble beginnings and he was also admired for his business acumen. Andrew was responsible for changing the way industries in the US worked. He set an example by using modern technology to increase production. He supplied the country with steel for its growth and expansion. However, all this came at a cost. And, it is claimed that the practices that Andrew Carnegie used came at the expense of the laborers working for him. More..




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