World History

Andrew Carnegie | Biography, Born, Company, Steel & Facts

Where did Andrew Carnegie grow up?

Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland on November 25, 1835. His father earned a living as a weaver making linen, and his mother worked as a shoe repairman. His family was rather poor.

They lived in a typical Scottish weaving hut, which was basically a one-room family where they cooked, ate and slept. When famine struck the country in the 1840s, the family decided to emigrate to America.

Andrew Carnegie Overview

Occupation Entrepreneur
Born November 25, 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland
Died August 11, 1919 in Lenox, Massachusetts
Best known for Becoming wealthy from the steel business, giving his wealth to charities
Nickname Patron Saint of Libraries

Biography of Andrew Carnegie

Immigrating to the United States

In 1848 Andrew moved to Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA. he was 13 years old. His family needed money, so he soon got a job as a winder boy in a cotton factory. In his first job, he worked 70 hours a week and earned $1.20.

Andrew couldn’t go to school, but he was a bright and hardworking boy. In his free time, he read books on loan from the local residents’ private library. Andrew never forgot how important these books were to his education, and later he heavily funded the construction of a public library.

Andrew always worked hard and did a good job. He soon got a job as a telegraph messenger. It was a much better and more enjoyable job. Andrew had to walk all over town to deliver the message. He also learned Morse code and practiced with a telegraph device whenever he got the chance. In 1851 he was promoted to telegraph engineer.

Working for the Railroads

In 1853 Carnegie began working on the railroad. He rose through the ranks and eventually became a superintendent. While Carnegie worked on the railroad, he studied economics and investing. This experience will come in handy later.

Investing and Success

Carnegie was making more money, so he figured he’d invest it rather than spend it. He invested in various companies such as iron, bridges and oil. Many of his investments have been successful and he has also established many business relationships with important and influential persons.

In 1865, Carnegie founded his first company called Keystone Bridge His Company. He began to devote most of his energy to the steelworks. Through his connections with the railroad company, he was able to build bridges and sell the sleepers manufactured by the company. Over the next few years, he expanded his business and built factories throughout the region.

Wealth in Steel

Carnegie decided to invest in steel. He knew that steel was stronger and lasted longer than iron. Steel will make bridges, railroads, buildings and ships more durable. He also learned about a new steelmaking process called the Bessemer process that could produce steel faster and cheaper than before. He founded the Carnegie Steel Company. He built many large steel mills and soon acquired a large share of the world steel market.

In 1901, Carnegie founded the United States with banker JP Morgan. steel. This has grown into the world’s largest company. Carnegie went from a poor Scottish immigrant to one of the richest men in the world.

Business Philosophy

Carnegie believed in working hard and taking calculated risks. He also invested in vertical markets. This means he didn’t just buy the steel material and have it manufactured in a factory. He also owned other parts of the steel industry, including coal mines to fuel his steel furnaces, and trains and ships to transport his steel and iron ore businesses.


For Andrew Carnegie, getting rich was only the first part of life. Now wealthy, he decided to donate the rest of his life to organizations in need. One of his favorite interests was the library. The funds helped him build over 1,600 libraries in the United States and around the world.

He also donated to education and funded the construction of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Other projects include purchasing thousands of church organs, building Carnegie Hall in New York City, and establishing the Carnegie Foundation for Educational Advancement.


Carnegie died of pneumonia on August 11, 1919, in Lenox, Massachusetts. He left most of his fortune to charity.

Interesting Facts about Andrew Carnegie

During the Civil War, Carnegie was in charge of the Union railroads and telegraph lines.

He once said, “He can’t push up a ladder unless he’s willing to climb it.”

Carnegie is estimated to be the second richest person in world history as measured by inflation. The richest was John D. Rockefeller.

Giving money was so important to him that in his book The Gospel of Wealth, he wrote, “Those who die rich die in disgrace.”

He once offered to give the Philippines $20 million to buy its independence.

He donated funds to support Booker T. Washington, who directs the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.