The life of Andrew Carnegie is definitely a rag to riches story. He was born in Scotland in 1835. But Scotland held only poverty for him and his family. His father was a weaver, and that would be the career that he was expected to follow, but when the steam powered looms came to Scotland and soon a lot of weavers were out of jobs. Though this would be a tough time for him and his family that is when he got his determination for riches when he grew up. But unlike a lot of other people his want for riches was not for his own greed. He wanted riches so he could help others and be able to offer jobs to people like his father, so no one would have to beg for a job again.
The Carnegie family moved to the United States in 1948. They settled in Pennsylvania. Young Andy wasted no time, he started working at age 13, always looking for better opportunities and more responsibilities. One thing he did was to memorize all the important names and addresses of folks that he delivered to, knowing one day that these names may be important to him.
Not only was he a hard, determined worker, he also had a great thirst for knowledge. He often spent his free time in the local library, learning about anything he could get his hands on. He also enjoyed watching plays by Shakespeare and other great playwrights.
Eventually Thomas A. Scott, of the Pennsylvania Railroad, hired him. He served as Scott’s personal secretary and it began his career for the railroads. He worked hard and his efforts paid off because he moved up the ladders until he became the superintendent of the Pittsburgh division. Before long he was making 50,000 dollars a year. But he knew that his thoughts were focused on making more and more money and this worried him some, he wanted to stop his business career at age 35 to read and receive teachings in order to gain more knowledge but this did not happen. He continued to make more and more money over the next thirty years.
At age 35 he invested heavily in the steel refining business. He built a new steel plant near Pittsburgh. By 1900 Carnegie’s Steel was producing more metal then anywhere in the world. The plant was eventually sold to J.P. Morgan for 480 million dollars. This made him the richest man in the world.
He never forgot his dream as a child and he used all of his riches to help others. He donated money to libraries and to colleges. This way instead of just handing people money he could help people to help themselves, for the improvement of mankind. By the time he died he had gave away 350 million dollars. And still managed to die a rich man.
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