At the time of his death in 1919 Andrew Carnegie had already given away, in what is todays money, nearly $5 billion. His remaining wealth of $30 million was divided up between several philanthropic endeavors and, I might add, pensioners. He did this all on his own. No president or government MADE him do this.
He came to America with his family from Scotland before he was 13 and started his career as a bobbin boy in a fabric factory, making $1.20 a week. Carnegie went on to become the wealthiest man in the world. And I might add, without the governments help. This was before the days of Eisenhower’s interstate road system and income tax, by the way. One has to wonder, how did all that steel make it out of his factory?
In 1901 J.P. Morgan bought him out to the tune of, in today’s dollars, $13.5 billion, the largest buyout at the time, in world history.
Once the buyout was done, Carnegie devoted his time to the real loves of his life: education and peace. Carnegie Mellon University and numerous museums and libraries worldwide are named after him. He donated millions of dollars worldwide to these causes.
Again, no one made him do these things. No government. No president. No congress. And no government helped him amass his fortune either. He did this all on his own.