What is the best gift which can be given to a community? …a free library occupies the first place…”-Andrew Carnegie, 1889
Worldwide Philanthropic Activity
Andrew Carnegie’s strongest philanthropic initiative, driven by his strong belief in and passion for free education, was the creation of 2,509 free public libraries around the world to which he donated 56 million dollars. A typical Carnegie grant was about $10,000 which is approximately $650,000 in today's dollars. These funds contributed significantly to the development of small communities around the world, providing much needed services, as well as many spectacular buildings for which many towns and cities are known.
Death and Legacy
Andrew Carnegie died on August 11, 1919, at the age of 84, from bronchial pneumonia. Over the course of his life, he had contributed more than $350,000,000 to various educational causes around the world, and helped change both people's attitudes toward, and accessibility of, education, as well as the North American landscape.