The descriptors likely make you think of a software whiz of our own time, but instead they describe the American who set the example. Andrew Carnegie believed that his fortune was owed to the larger community and he vowed to give it all away in his lifetime. He urged his fellow millionaires to do the same. This was more than a century before Bill Gates got our attention by promoting the same idea.
Carnegie made his money in steel production. With great foresight, he tirelessly innovated, modernized, expanded and integrated production both horizontally and vertically, always as a partnership. When he sold Carnegie Steel to J. P. Morgan, Morgan incorporated his purchase into U. S. Steel, the world’s first billion-dollar corporation.
With only one year of formal schooling, Carnegie became a respected man of letters, consulted with American and British leaders and optimistically worked for world peace, endowing organizations to pursue this goal. Evidence of his philanthropy continues in many areas, not the least of which are over 1600 libraries across America.
The life and career of Andrew Carnegie is much richer than the customary dismissal of him as just another Robber Baron.