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Who was Andrew Carnegie?

Updated on December 3, 2016

Andrew Carnegie was an American industrialist and philanthropist. Born Dunfermline, Scotland, Nov. 25, 1835.

Carnegie was born into a very poor Scotch family, which emigrated in 1848 to Allegheny, Pa. At the age of 13 he began working as a bobbin boy in a local cotton factory. He possessed qualities of intense energy and application, and he educated himself by borrowing books from a working boys' library. At the age of 14 he became a telegraph boy in Pittsburgh

By 1853, Carnegie had mastered telegraphy. He became first a telegraph operator and later a superintendent for the Pennsylvania Railroad. Despite his small salary he started making the first of his many wise Investments. He also introduced Woodruff sleeping cars to the railroad and bought a one-eighth interest in what was to become the Pullman Company.

It was after the Civil War that his great work began, in the development of the Pittsburgh iron and steel industries. In 1873, Carnegie met the British steel magnate Sir Henry Bessemer and became convinced of the great importance of steel to the future of industry. Accordingly, Carnegie built the J. Edgar Thomson Steel Mills near Pittsburgh, Pa. In 1888 he organized the Union Iron Mills. Four years later he acquired the controlling interest in his largest competitor, the Homestead Steel Works. He also obtained stock in seven other steel mills in the Pittsburgh area. In 1899 he merged his many and diverse industrial interests into the Carnegie Steel Company. By 1900 this firm was producing one-fourth of all the steel in the United States. The following year, Carnegie sold the company to the United States Steel Company for about 250 million dollars and retired.

Andrew Carnegie died in Lenox, Massachusetts on August 11, 1919.


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    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Good hub, all about his business life, which is how he did it. Good job.