The Top 100 Greatest New Yorkers — #43
Andrew Carnegie (1835 – 1919)
The Story of Andrew Carnegie reads like the American Dream on steroids: A poor Scottish immigrant arrived in America as a child with nothing. Starting as a messenger boy, he worked from job to job, eventually investing in the railroads that employed him. Eventually becoming the owner of Carnegie Steel, he amassed a fortune that made him one of the wealthiest men on earth, compounding it when he sold the company to JP Morgan for $480 million – the largest corporate takeover in US history at the time. Believing strongly that how a man spends money in his later years is as important as how he makes it in his early years, Carnegie became one of the most famous charitable philanthropists in history, funding such programs as Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Hero Fund, and Carnegie Mellon University. But the two institutions for which he will always be best remembered are his national network of Carnegie libraries and the legendary music venue Carnegie Hall which celebrated its 125th birthday this year. His last home was a grand mansion that still stands on 91st and Fifth, now housing the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design, owned and operated by the Smithsonian Institution.
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