STORIES
Community Heroes

Andrew Carnegie

by Zachary from Union

A hero to me is an individual that makes an impact on society. It is someone that is not only successful for themselves, but helps others as well. It is a person that is a role model that others look up to. It is a person that is a guide for others; someone that people need for a sense of hope and endless possibilities. My hero that I chose is named Andrew Carnegie.

Even though Carnegie had little formal education, he became one of the wealthiest businessmen in America. He grew up in a family that thought books and learning was important. He was only a son of a handloom weaver, and ended up as one of the most successful industrialists. He was born on November 25, 1835 in Scotland. He came to America with his family at the age of thirteen in 1848. He and his family went to Pennsylvania, and Carnegie started working in a factory for the pay of a $1.20 a week. The next job that he attended was a telegraph messenger. His third job that he took was at the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1853. By this time Carnegie learned a lot about the railroad industry and about business in general. This was the start of his successful life.

Carnegie began investing his money while working for the railroad. He made thoughtful choices, and noticed that his investments brought him good profits. He left the rail road company in 1865. One of his other interests was the Keystone Bridge Company. Within ten years, Carnegie dedicated himself to the steel industry. He brought up his business which was named the Carnegie Steel Company. His business revolutionized the production of steel in the United States. Carnegie had many steel plants spread out around the country and made the production of steel easier and faster. He also owned everything that was included for his corporation, the raw materials, the ships and railroads for transporting, and even the coal fields that were needed for fuel for the steel furnaces and transportation. In 1889, his company became the largest of its kind in the world.

In 1901, Carnegie altered his life and sold his steel company to the United States Steel Corporation for 200 million dollars. After that business deal Carnegie was 65 years old and chose to help others from then on. Carnegie made many large donations and also developed countless libraries. Carnegie enjoyed reading throughout his life and he donated five million dollars to the New York public libraries. He was also dedicated to learning so he founded the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh in 1904 and created the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 1905. Another establishment of his was the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in 1910. He created a book that was called The Gospel of Wealth, which stated that people with great wealth should use their assets to help others. Carnegie died in 1919 and was worth five hundred million dollars when he passed. He left three hundred fifty million to be given to donations.

Carnegie was a remarkable philanthropist that helped many people. Not only was he successful for himself, he gave the chance for others to be successful as well. He impacted the society by his company, creating institutes and libraries, and donating to charities and other organizations. Andrew Carnegie came from not much at all, and ended up with so much. He is a perfect example of a hero.

Page created on 6/29/2009 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 6/29/2009 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.