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Andrew Carnegie provides an example of a rags-to-riches story with important moral implications. Carnegie used his innovative ideas and his determination to succeed to build one of the greatest family fortunes in the history of American society. Yet unlike others, Carnegie's idea of being rich meant possessing the ability to help others. He used his fortune to improve conditions in society.Because he believed a man was only worth as much as his actions proved, he escaped the negative effects money can have on people in order to become one of the worlds' greatest philanthropists.
Facts to Use in a Research Paper on Andrew Carnegie's Early Life
Facts about Andrew Carnegie's early life:
- Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland on November 25th, 1835.
- Carnegie described his parents as "poor but honestof good kith and kin".
- Carnegie was named after his parental grandfather.
- His father worked in the damask industry, which was the dominant trade industry in Dunfermline.
- Andrew was especially close to his mother, Margaret, whom he thought of as a heroine.
Growing up, Carnegie was made aware of the reputation of his grandfather by both family members and other individuals in Dunfermline. The senior Andrew Carnegie was well liked and well respected in the town. He was known as a man who possessed a great sense of humor, a prankster, and a man of great wit and nature. Carnegie credits many of his positive personality traits to the influence of his grandfather, including his optimistic nature and his ability to laugh even when troubled. Andrew also credits his grandfather for instilling within him a positive philosophy of life,
"A sunny disposition is worth more than fortune. Young people should know that it can be cultivated; that the mind like the body can be moved from the shade into sunshine. Let us move it then. Laugh trouble away if possible, and one usually can if he be anything of a philosopher, provided that self-reproach comes not from his own wrongdoing. That always remains. There is no washing out of these damned spots. The judge within sits in the supreme court and can never be cheated".
Andrew Carnegie and Success
Another great influence in Andrew's life was his maternal grandfather, Thomas Morrison. Like the senior Carnegie, Morrison was very popular and very well liked. He was known as a "keen" politician, head of the district's radical party, and a superior orator.
When Carnegie was young, his father's success in the weaving industry allowed the family to move to a larger house in a more prestigious part of town. It was in this house that Carnegie viewed his first map of America. Later on when the invent of the steam-loom posed a serious threat to the family fortune, Andrew's mother opened a small shop in order to contribute to the family's financial position.