A man of Scotland, a distinguished citizen of the United States, and a philanthropist devoted to the betterment of the world around him, Andrew Carnegie became famous at the turn of the twentieth century. Andrew Carnegie's life is the epitome of two quotes by Benjamin Franklin, "God helps them that help themselves," and, "A good example is the best sermon.".
Born in Dunfermline, Scotland, on November 25, 1835, Andrew Carnegie entered the world in poverty. The son of a hand weaver, Carnegie never really received a formal education. When steam machinery for weaving came into use, Carnegie's father sold his looms and household goods, and sailed to America with his wife and two sons. At this time, Andrew was twelve, and his brother, Thomas, was five. Arriving into New York on August 14, 1848, the Carnegies wasted little time settling in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, where their relatives already lived. Allegheny, Pennsylvania provided Carnegie's first job, as a bobbin boy in a cotton factory, working for $1.20 a week. His father also worked there while his mother bound shoes at home, making a small amount of money. Although the Carnegies lacked in money, they thrived in ideals and values for their children. .
At age 15, Carnegie became a telegraph messenger boy in Pittsburgh. He learned to send and decipher telegraphic messages and became a telegraph operator at the age of 17. Carnegie's next job was as a railroad clerk, working for the Pennsylvania Railroad. He worked his way up and become train dispatcher and then division manager. At this time, Carnegie, age 24, had already made some small investments that laid the foundations of his what would be tremendous fortune. One of these investments was the purchase of stock in the Woodruff Sleeping Car Company. .
In 1864, Carnegie entered the iron business, but did not begin to make steel until years later. In 1873, he built the Edgar Thomson works in Braddock, Pennsylvania, to make Bessemer steel.