Andrew Carnegie’s innovative approach to steel production helped him amass an unprecedented personal fortune from which he could pursue many philanthropic endeavors. In addition to bad working conditions, Carnegie has been criticized for paying his workers low wages, therefore making labor relations between Carnegie and the people who worked very hard, enabled Carnegie sold his steel company he retired from business and devoted himself full-time to philanthropy. In 1889, he had penned an essay, The Gospel of Wealth, in which he stated that the rich have a moral obligation to distribute their money in ways that promote the welfare and happiness of the common man.
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Always an avid reader and a self-learner, Mr. Carnegie began building public libraries throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. The first library opened in his birth town of Dunfermline, Scotland in 1883.
A shrewd businessman, Andrew Carnegie would fund the building and the books of a library only on the condition that the local governing board matched that by providing the land and operating capital. It is estimated that he funded 3,000 libraries in eight countries. He would subsequently provide endowments for any library that struggled to keep its doors open to the public.
His philanthropy continued on to education and science by funding the construction of several colleges and establishing grants that are still awarded today. The most famous of his philanthropic expressions is the Carnegie Hall in New York City, which is still considered one of the most prestigious venues today.
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