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Robbing From The Poor To Give To The Rich: Andrew Carnegie And His Mega-Legacy

Updated 19 Jul 2017 9.0k views9 items

Andrew Carnegie was one of the wealthiest men to have ever lived. He had humble beginnings, born the son of a handloom weaver in 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland. However, when the power loom began making handloom weavers redundant, his family moved to Pittsburgh, PA, in 1848. Carnegie had a keen eye for business, and his early investment in railway stocks proved fruitful. He made his millions as a steel magnate and became one of the richest men in America. After selling his steel company for $250 million in 1901, he retired to a life of philanthropy. Over the course of his life, Carnegie gave away over $350 million from his fortune. However, Carnegie was more than a philanthropic son of a weaver – he also got up to some dark things over the course of his life. Namely, exploiting his workers to the point of abject destitution.

The tycoon became one of the key figures during the Gilded Age, a period Mark Twain described as a rotten era with the glittering appearance of gold masking the true problems of the time. For many, Carnegie was an inspirational story. A self-made millionaire and philanthropist who gave away his fortune. For others, he was a robber baron who exploited his workers, broke their unions, and lived a storied life that he denied the people who worked on his behalf.

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