His Early Life

His Philanthropy

His Legacy

Andrew Carnegie sitting holding tophat and gloves, circa

Andrew Carnegie, circa 1878

Photo courtesy of Project Gutenberg Archives

His Philanthropy

“No man becomes rich unless he enriches others” - Andrew Carnegie

His Essays

In 1889, Andrew Carnegie wrote two essays in which he explained his philosophy of philanthropy.  The first entitled Wealth discussed his belief that surplus funds of the wealthy should be distributed to provide for the welfare and happiness of the common man.  In the second essay, The Best Fields for Philanthropy he expressed that the best gift that could be given to a community was a free library.  From the very beginning of Andrew Carnegie’s philanthropic activities, he concentrated his energies and resources into institutions which would support and further his dedication to free education for all and the notion of a meritocracy.

Concentrating on Philanthropy

By the age of 35, Carnegie decided to leave his business enterprises behind and concentrate on philanthropy and writing, rather than personal profit.  Carnegie believed the best way to provide free education and to foster growing communities was through the establishment of public libraries. These could provide the public with the tools necessary to succeed, regardless of their socio-economic background.

Back to top | c2011 Gayle Bushell | Last Updated August 1, 2011