Andrew Carnegie, a business man and philanthropist, once said "People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents." (Goodreads: Andrew Carnegie Quotes). Carnegie was a very important figure in American industrialism. He helped shape and expand the steel industry due to his impressive ability to recognize and utilize business opportunities. Even after his retirement, he was respected for using his fortune for acts of generosity and charity. Whether you consider him a robber baron or a captain of industry, America would not be the same without his influence.
Carnegie was born in Scotland and immigrated to the United States with his parents in 1848. He first started working in 1848 when he was thirteen as a bobbin boy at a cotton mill, and then by 1850 became a telegrapher. He did so well that he was promoted to telegraph operator, and eventually, in 1853, got a job at the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. His boss was Thomas A. Scott, a man who taught him the basics of what he knew about industry. After many years there, he became the superintendent of the Pennsylvania Division. This is where he really began to learn about business and management, since railroads were the first major industry back then. He was very useful to the business because he was so innovative with his ideas and ways to find new opportunities. By 1865, he retired from the railroad to take up other business opportunities such as the Keystone Bridge Company and Keystone Telegraph Company. .
In 1875, Carnegie constructed his first steel mill after learning about the Bessemer process: Edgar Thompson Steel Works. With the help of his old coworkers from the Pennsylvania Railroad, and other business men he had aquainted along the way, he was on his way to the top. From there, he made Carnegie Steel Company in 1892, which had a skyscraper headquarters in Downtown Pittsburgh.