Andrew Carnegie

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Andrew Carnegie was born on November 25, 1835 in Dunfermline, the medieval capital of Scotland. His parents were William Carnegie, who was a linen weaver; and Margaret Carnegie, who made shoes. The town of Dunfermline was strongly based in linen weaving, and when the industrial revolution hit, linen workers such as William Carnegie found themselves out of work. Margaret quickly took on additional jobs to help the family, opening a grocery store and fixing shoes. This was an important turning point in Andrew Carnegie's life. He would later write that “[he] began to learn what poverty meant. It was burnt into my heart then that my father had to beg for work. And then and there came the resolve that I would cure that when I got to be a man.”1 This experience gave him an ambition for riches that would drive him throughout his life. Andrew's mother, Margaret, wanted to help the family in the wake of the devastating industrial revolution. Margaret was able to convince the family to move to America, the “land of opportunities.” In 1848, the family made the long journey across the Atlantic Ocean to Allegheny, Pennsylvania. There Andrew's father secured work in a cotton mill. Andrew, now thirteen, was able to obtain at job at the same factory where his father worked-as a bobbin boy who he received $1.20 per week. Andrew had a thirst for knowledge and would often watch Shakespeare and other plays when delivering messages to the theater. Andrew was committed to making his life better off, and realized that the best tool for achieving this was a good education, reading, and writing. In this, however, he faced a problem. At that time, the public libraries that we take for granted now, did not, for the most part, exist. Local libraries charge... ... middle of paper ... ...exactly what he wanted: the opportunity for everyone to be able to give themselves an education and make themselves better off. Even if his methods were not entirely perfect, Carnegie's dream was truly visionary. Works Cited Gillam, Scott Andrew Carnegie: industrial giant and philanthropist. Edina, MN: ABDO Publishing Co., 2009. De Capua, Sarah Andrew Carnegie. Ann Arbor, MI: Cherry Lake Publishing, 2008

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