Andrew Carnegie was a captain of industry when the term actually meant something. He started a railroad business during the Civil War and then built his own US Steel industry. He found ways to produce steel faster, cheaper and better which contributed to United State’s astonishing growth. He later sold all his success for a huge sum to J.P. Morgan. At the time he was the richest man in the world. What made him so important in US history, is that he gave most of his wealth to many communities. In addition to libraries, he built numerous colleges, schools, nonprofit organizations and associations both in his adopted country, as well as in Scotland and throughout the globe. His most significant contribution, both in terms of money and in terms of enduring influence, was the establishment of several endowed trusts or institutions bearing his name. By 1919, he gave away almost $350 million and established a legacy through his generous foundations he founded.
At the age of 13, Carnegie worked as a bobbin boy at a local cotton mill. He worked for twelve hours a day, six days a week for $1.25 per week in wages. Even though he didn’t have a formal education, he taught himself through books in the library. “I believe the true road to preeminent success in any line is to make yourself master in that line. I have no faith in the policy of scattering one’s resources, and in my experience I have rarely if ever met a man who achieved preeminence in money making.. certainly never one in manufacturing.. who was interested in many concerns” he said. Carnegie never slacked off and had a persistent work ethic. He followed through his passions in investing which led to his success. He wasn’t born with many opportunities, but he was able to create them for himself.
What was it like having all that money to your name at that time?
Do you remember every step you took to get to where you were?