Andrew Carnegie was one of the richest and most famous magnates of a dawning manufacturing industry of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States of America. In his time, he was often regarded as the second richest man in the World after John D. Rockefeller and yet, it seems he never forgot more humble beginnings. He was born in Dunfermline in November 1835 and emigrated with his parents to the USA at quite a young age.
His first job in the United States was as a factory worker in a bobbin factory. He became a bill logger for the owner of the company and then a messenger boy but eventually progressed through the ranks of a telegraph company. In the 1860s. he had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars, bridges and oil derricks. He built further wealth as a bond salesman raising money for American enterprise in Europe. In 1870, he founded Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel Company and where he earned the bulk of his immense fortune. By the 1890s, the company was the largest and most profitable industrial enterprise in the world. Carnegie ultimately sold his steel business to J.P. Morgan in 1901 as part of process ultimately resulting in the U.S. Steel Corporation.
Later in life, he turned to philanthropy and interests in education, founding the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. Carnegie gave away most of his money to establish many libraries, schools, and universities in America, the United Kingdom and other countries, as well as a pension fund for former employees.
He died in August, 1919, and leaving the first public reading library in Dunfermline, a museum and a community building with a swimming pool bearing his name.