Life Of: The Richest Man Ever

Life Of: The Richest Man Ever

Andrew Carnegie: Andrew Carnegie’s life seemed touched by magic. He embodied the American dream: the immigrant who went from rags to riches, the self-made man who became a captain of industry, the king of steel. “Carnegie was more than most people,” says Owen Dudley Edwards, historian at the University of Edinburgh. “Not only more wealthy, not only more optimistic, Carnegie is still, right throughout his life, the little boy in the fairy story, for whom everything has to be all right.”

Fond of saying “The man who dies rich, dies disgraced,” Carnegie amassed a fortune, then gave it away. Millions of dollars went to support education, a pension plan for teachers, and the cause of world peace. Most famous as a benefactor of libraries, he funded nearly 3,000 around the world. He preached the obligation of the wealthy to return their money to the societies where they made it — then added, says Carnegie’s biographer, Joseph Frazier Wall, “a very revealing sentence. He wrote, ‘and besides, it provides a refuge from self-questioning.’”

Added on: September 26th, 2012


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