Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was a Scottish-American industrialist and one of the wealthiest people in the world in his time. But besides being the founder of the Carnegie Steel Company which later became the U.S. Steel Corporation, Carnegie was also a great philanthropist who gave the majority of the wealth he created in business to a variety of philanthropic projects. After selling his Carnegie Steel Company to J.P. Morgan in 1901, he devoted himself completely to philanthropy, funding a variety of projects, most notably libraries across the United States, Canada, Britain and other English-speaking countries. He also funded or built:
Carnegie Hall, New York City. In 1891, Carnegie built one of the most pre-eminent concert venues in the world which remains one of the most prestigious venues of its kind to the present day. But he also financially supported construction of the Carnegie Hall Inc. in Lewisburg (West Virginia) which serves as a regional cultural centre, Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) which is a part of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Hall in his native town of Dunfermline in Scotland.
Carnegie Corporation of New York. Founded by Carnegie in 1911, the foundation remains one of the largest and most important foundations promoting education, advancement of disadvantaged social groups, supporting research on cognitive development and learning in early childhood, and other activities that “promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding”.
Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington. Founded as organisation for scientific discovery by Carnegie in 1902 today consists of six research departments including the Department of Embryology in Baltimore, Geophysical Laboratory in Washington D.C., Department of Plan Biology and Department of Global Ecology in Stanford (California), Department of Terrestrial Magnetism in Washington D.C. and The Observatories in Pasadena (California) and Las Campanas (Chile).
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Another institution that was founded by Carnegie (in 1910) is – like its name suggests – dedicated to promoting international cooperation with an aim to “hasten the abolition of international war” which was viewed by Carnegie as the “foulest blot” of human civilisation.
Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. The charitable trust was founded by Carnegie in 1901 to provide financial support to Scottish universities. He also donated $10 million which was a huge sum at the time.
Other notable projects by Andrew Carnegie:
- $10 million donation to the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust
- $5 million Carnegie Hero Fund
- establishment of the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh
- foundation of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh (today a part of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh)
- over 2,500 libraries across the United States, Britain and other English-speaking countries