Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and emigrated in 1848 to the United States with his very poor parents. Carnegie started work as a telegrapher and by the 1860s had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars, bridges and oil derricks. He accumulated further wealth as a bond salesman raising money for American enterprise in Europe. He built Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel Company, which he sold to J.P. Morgan in 1901 for $480 million (2015 per share of GDP, $370 billion). It became the U.S. Steel Corporation. After selling Carnegie Steel, he surpassed Rockefeller as the richest American for the next couple of years, reaching a personal net worth of US$310 billion-a fortune not yet known to the modern world. Carnegie devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, education and scientific research. With the fortune he made from business, he built Carnegie Hall and founded the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, Carnegie Hero Fund, Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, among others.
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About the Author
Ben Thompson graduated cum laude from the honors program at Florida State University with degrees in history and political science, and has run the war hammer of a website, badassoftheweek.com, since 2004. Even though he's never flown a jetpack over the Atlantic Ocean or punched someone so hard that his head exploded, he is considered by many to be the world's foremost expert on badassitude.