Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-American businessman, a major philanthropist, and the founder of the Carnegie Steel Company, which later became U.S. Steel.

Wealth, from the North American Review

(June 1889 vol. 148, issue 391)
  • The problem of our age is the proper administration of wealth, so that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmonious relationship. (p. 653)

  • While the law [of competition] may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it insures the survival of the fittest in every department. We accept and welcome, therefore, as conditions to which we must accommodate ourselves, great inequality of environment, the concentration of business, industrial and commercial, in the hands of the few, and the law of competition between these, as being not only beneficial, but essential for the future progress of the race. (p. 655)

  • Upon the sacredness of property civilization itself depends—the right of the laborer to his hundred dollars in the savings bank, and equally the legal right of the millionaire to his millions. (p. 656)

  • Those who would administer wisely must, indeed, be wise, for one of the serious obstacles to the improvement of our race is indiscriminate charity. (p. 662)

  • Thus is the problem of Rich and Poor to be solved. The laws of accumulation will be left free; the laws of distribution free. Individualism will continue, but the millionaire will be but a trustee of the poor; intrusted for a season with a great part of the increased wealth of the community, but administering it for the community far better than it could or would have done for itself. (pp. 663-664)

  • The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced. (p. 664)

  • Such, in my opinion, is the true Gospel concerning Wealth, obedience to which is destined some day to solve the problem of the Rich and the Poor, and to bring "Peace on earth, among men Good Will." (p. 664)

The Best Fields for Philanthropy, from the North American Review

(December 1889 vol. 149, issue 397)
  • Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community. (p. 684)


  • Anything in life worth having is worth working for!
    • Autobiography

  • No amount of ability is of the slightest avail without honor.
    • "College Training and the Business Man"

  • The average person puts about 25 percent of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50 percent of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100 percent.

  • I don’t believe in God. My god is patriotism. Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life.

  • As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.

  • Watch the costs, and the profits will take care of themselves.
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