Andrew Carnegie Wiki Biography
Andrew Carnegie was born on November 25, 1835, in Dunfermline, Scotland, and is regarded as one of the industrial revolution’s giants in the United States, having built a virtual empire in iron and steel before retiring in 1901 and focusing on humanitarian endeavors.
What was Andrew Carnegie’s net worth? Andrew’s net worth, according to Forbes magazine, would have been $310 billion at its peak, accumulated during his career in the iron and steel industry during the second half of the nineteenth century, culminating in his sale of his Carnegie Steel Company to J.P. Morgan for $480 million ($13.6 billion in 2015), propelling him to the position of fourth richest person of all time.
Andrew Carnegie Net Worth $310 Billion
Andrew Carnegie was born into a family of weavers who immigrated to the United States in 1848 to escape increasingly difficult economic times in Scotland, caused by the replacement of manual labor by technology. They even borrowed money to do so. Getting out of poverty left a lasting influence on Carnegie, who developed a passion for knowledge and a willingness to work hard but efficiently.
His first employment was in a cotton plant in Pittsburgh, where he earned $1.20 for 72 hours of work. In 1850, he began working for the Ohio Telegraph Company as a telegraph boy for $2.50 a week, rising to operator a year later, before being hired as a telegraph operator and soon as his secretary by Thomas A. Scott, President of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company and one of the “founders of America.” Carnegie’s wealth was increasing.
Andrew Carnegie not only advanced through the ranks of the corporation during the following few years, but he was also able to profit from Scott’s often shady insider trading of railroad-related stocks. Railroads and the iron and steel industry, in particular, became increasingly important, first in terms of the country’s overall development, and specifically in terms of communications systems in the United States, but then, with the outbreak of the American civil war (1861-65), in terms of transporting both troops and munitions.
Carnegie was essential in the amalgamation of firms that would create Pullman sleeper cars, easing long-distance rail travel, as part of railroad growth. Carnegie’s net wealth clearly increased as a result of his involvement in these initiatives.
President Abraham Lincoln named Thomas A. Scott as Assistant Secretary of War in charge of military transportation, and Carnegie was designated administrator of military railroads and telegraph lines. Carnegie’s commercial success was aided by his wartime experience, and even before the war’s end, he was able to invest in and eventually control the Keystone Bridge Company, which built iron bridges, bringing in over $50,000 per year by 1867.
Carnegie had also prudently invested $40,000 in Story Farm on Oil Creek in Pennsylvania in 1864, which yielded almost $1 million in cash dividends in the first year, with petroleum being particularly profitable. Carnegie’s net wealth was rapidly increasing.
In 1870, he adopted the Bessemer process for refining iron into steel, which was created by the British engineer of the same name, and invested as much money as he could borrow to build a suitable facility in Pittsburgh. This foresight was a recurring Carnegie trait, and it put him ahead of his opponents, therefore his net worth grew inexorably.
Carnegie maintained close contact with Thomas A. Scott and J. Edgar Thomson (subsequent president of the Pennsylvania railroad) in the postwar years, to the benefit of all three, as significant amounts of steel were required to meet the railroad system’s continued expansion, and Scott and Thomson were rewarded with shares in Carnegie’s companies.
Furthermore, Carnegie became involved in the construction of steel bridges, including one spanning the Mississippi River in 1874, which created a massive new market for steel products and contributed to Andrew Carnegie’s growing wealth.
Carnegie bought his main competitor, Homestead Steel Works, in 1883, which encompassed mines, facilities, and a 685-kilometer railway, as well as steamships. By 1888, Carnegie Steel had surpassed the United Kingdom as the world’s greatest steel producer, with a daily output of almost 2,000 tons. Carnegie Steel Company was founded in 1892 by combining Carnegie’s holdings with those of numerous collaborators.
Carnegie’s success in the iron and steel industry was due in part to his focus on vertical integration, from iron ore mining to steel-based buildings, similar to Rockefeller’s integration of the oil sector at the same time. Controlling transportation means and costs was critical to this philosophy, which explains his continued association with Scott and the railroad system.
Andrew Carnegie focussed on his philanthropic pursuits following the sale of his steel business to J.P. Morgan in 1901. Despite his severe efficiency in business and manufacturing, Carnegie was always generous with his money, and he is regarded as one of the world’s greatest philanthropists, donating vast sums in his later years, estimated to be worth several billion dollars in today’s money.
He had long cherished education and gave generously to public libraries in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, as well as many other English-speaking countries, totaling over 3,000, the first of which was erected in his hometown of Dunfermline. He also made significant contributions to Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Edinburgh. The Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Institution in Washington, DC both received $2 million to start their own institutions.
He gave $10 million to establish the Carnegie Trust in Scotland (in comparison to $50,000 per year in total government support for all Scottish universities) and another $10 million to establish the Carnegie UK Trust, both to help struggling scholars. Carnegie’s support also benefited the Tuskegee Institute for Afro-American Education and the National Negro Business League.
Although Carnegie was a tough businessman and employer, he established a pension fund for former employees and one for college professors, among many other famous bequests. He erected the iconic Carnegie Hall in New York City, but should that be mistaken for a memorial to himself, he also donated 7,000 organs to churches around the United States.
He established the Carnegie Hero Fund in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, and several other nations to recognize and reward heroic achievements. He donated $1.5 million to The Hague’s Peace Palace and $150,000 to the Pan-America Palace in Washington, DC, which houses the International Bureau of American Republics.
In his personal life, Andrew Carnegie married Louisa Whitfield in 1887 and they had only one child before his death on August 11, 1919. Carnegie refused to marry while his mother was still alive, focusing instead on caring for her as her health deteriorated until her death in 1886.
His residual wealth of roughly $30 million was dispersed to various philanthropic organizations after his death. As a result, one can only applaud the fact that his net worth, which he had worked so hard to build up, was put to good use.
|Date Of Birth
|November 25, 1835, Dunfermline, Scotland, United Kingdom
|August 11, 1919, Lenox, Massachusetts, United States
|Business magnate, industrialist, philanthropist
|Louise Whitfield Carnegie (m. 1887–1919)
|Margaret Carnegie Miller
|William Carnegie, Margaret Morrison Carnegie
|Thomas M. Carnegie
|Founder of : The Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY); The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (CEIP); the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (CFAT);The Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs (CCEIA)