Andrew Carnegie

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Andrew Carnegie was once claimed the richest man in the world. He built a fortune from a meager beginning. Carnegie was a hard working man who refused to quit. He was dedicated to perform well and held respect for quality work. However, Carnegie faced a constant challenge through his success; his values often conflicted with his success. Carnegie was able to offset this conflict through his donations to the public after his retirement from the steel industry. He has been better remembered for his donations than his ethics as an employer.

Andrew Carnegie traveled from Scotland to America with his parents when he was thirteen years old. The family moved to Pittsburg in 1848, which Carnegie described at the time as unpleasant to say the least writing, “"The smoke permeated and penetrated everything.... If you washed your face and hands, they were as dirty as ever in an hour. and for a time ... life was more or less miserable."(Richest PBS) Here begins the conflict Carnegie displays throughout his life; while he is disgusted with the effects of industrialized society he also builds an empire from the same means.

Carnegie’s father was able to gain employment for himself and Andrew at a cotton factory, Carnegie’s wage was a meager $1.20 a week at this time.(Andrew Wikipedia) While at the cotton factory Carnegie was able to move into better paying positions although the advancements he earned had drawbacks. In one position he controlled a boiler he was always worried might burst, another oiling spools, which often made him sick and both very trying for him at such a young age. He states in his autobiography, “at this date I was not beyond asking myself what Wallace would have done and what a Scotsman ought to do. Of one thing I was sure, he ought never to give up.” ( Carnegie Auto) His perseverance was one of his positive attributes that helped him succeed. Three years after arriving in America, Carnegie gained employment from the Ohio Telegraph Company with a wage more than double that at the cotton factory. At $2.50 a week Carnegies was raking in the big bucks at his new job and he was excited to learn more about the industry. While employed with the telegraph company Carnegie became one of only a few people in the country who could decipher the message of the telegraph strictly by sound.(Andrew Wikipedia) His capacity to learn quickly and the energy he was willing to put into any job he had defiantly paved the road to his wealth.

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