Andrew Carnegie: Carnegie Steel Founder’s Biography & Acheivements

In this day and age, there are a handful of businessmen and entrepreneurs that are well known as a result of their involvement with a high profile company. However, the majority of them do not hold a candle to the early American businessmen that created a model for them to follow. The 19th Century businessmen were incredibly successful and should be used as basic examples of exactly what can be done with a little drive and intelligence. Andrew Carnegie was one such example. The entrepreneur was undoubtedly one of the most successful businessmen of his time to the point where he would be the richest man in the world today were his fortune to be translated into modern values.

Early Life

Very little is known about Andrew Carnegie’s early life purely and simply because he was born in Scotland and then moved to the United States with his parents a few years after his birth. He was born on November 25, 1835. His family was poor and Carnegie began to work at an early age. He only developed his intellect via reading the books that Colonel James Anderson, a local military hero, owned. Anderson had opened his personal library up to uneducated boys to help them better themselves. Carnegie would always be proud that he was a self-made man as he moved up through the ranks of the business world. This is evident in the fact that he worked as a bobbin boy in a cotton mill from the age of 13. This simply typifies the fact that Carnegie worked incredibly hard.

Andrew Carnegie secured a job at the Ohio Telegraph Company in Pittsburgh in 1951 and set about teaching himself the telegraph signals that were sent and received. As such, he was able to move up the ranks of the business very quickly and could afford to begin investing his money by the age of 18. The entrepreneur mainly invested in railroad companies and went about amassing a fortune.

The Civil War And Beyond

Andrew Carnegie was a millionaire by the end of the Civil War as a direct result of his investments, especially one $40,000 investment in Storey Farm. It yielded a lot of oil and brought him a $1,000,000 return on his investment. Although he is today famous for steel, it was during the war that Carnegie noticed that the demand for iron was extremely high and began to invest in ironworks on a much larger level than he did before. He formed the Keystone Bridge Works and Union Ironworks, both of which made him a fortune as he strove to repair the railroads. The old wooden structures did pose a problem and the entrepreneur noticed the opportunity it presented.

Working with iron all day gave Carnegie plans for expansion and he soon founded another industrial venture – the Carnegie Steel Company. He invented a process by where the steel itself could be cheaply and easily mass-produced. As a result, he supplied the railroads all the material they needed to get the transportation system back on track, and he began supplying other companies too. Within a few years, the entrepreneur had created the largest steel company to ever exist within the United States. In 1889, Carnegie was producing almost as much steel as the entire UK steel industry.

Eventually, the entrepreneur sold his company to J.P. Morgan in 1901. By that time he had made his fortune via the Carnegie Steel Company, which was to become US Steel. He turned his attention to philanthropic efforts and contributed a lot to various charitable causes and foundations. However, by the time of his retirement he was second only in personal wealth to John Rockefeller.

Andrew Carnegie was an amazing entrepreneur who demonstrated exactly how business had to be conducted if an individual was to get ahead. He actively searched for and found gaps in the market and refined his production processes to make his companies more efficient and productive. As such, he helped to provide a template for successful entrepreneurs to follow. This is ultimately why he is a business legend.

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