Ed Pearce‘s Today’s Memory
Andrew Carnegie’s birthday
Originally shared by Ed Pearce
Businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie was actually Scottish, born on November 25, 1835 in a Dunfermline weavers cottage. Carnegie came over to the US as a boy, where he got a job as a steel factory worker.
In 1892, the Carnegie Steel Company was created in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The company grew and, after Carnegie sold it in 1901, later merged with US Steel, a corporate giant that is still active today.
Carnegie as he appears in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Carnegie published a famous essay, The Gospel of Wealth, in 1889, which appeared in the North American Review and in Britain in the Pall Mall Gazette. In it he set out his belief that a successful businessman should devote the first part of his life to accumulating wealth and the second to distributing it as, “a man who dies rich, dies disgraced”. By bettering the life of his less fortunate fellowman whilst on earth he will be rewarded when he dies at the gates of paradise.
Carnegie fulfilled this ideal with astounding generosity, giving much of his fortune to schools, libraries and universities before his death at 83. In particular he funded the establishment of a number of public libraries throughout the United States as he believed this would give people the opportunity to better themselves.
He gave away $288 million ($4.22 billion today) to American charities alone.