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Andrew Carnegie (1835 – 1919) was an American entrepreneur, businessman, and industrialist of Scottish extraction, known for his role as a major philanthropist. Carnegie's was the classic "rags to riches" tale, as he rose up by his bootstraps from a bobbin factory worker, a bill logger, and a messenger boy - eventually climbing his way through of the ranks of a telegraph company, where he made the leap into steel refining. When he sold the Carnegie Steel Company to J.P. Morgan for $480 million, it would become U.S. Steel. Carnegie donated most of his fortune to establish libraries, and other institutions the world over, including Carnegie Hall, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.
Despite having set the standard for how the mega-rich should "spend it," Carnegie did go out and enjoy himself. His book Round the World is his first hand account of a year he spent traveling abroad. Yet Carnegie was no snob. His cheerful and witty travelogue is full of little gems: it's set up as a series of fast-paced, funny and highly eloquent diary entries, whose dialogue and quirky titles are a joy to read. How sweet, too, that when trying to decide which books from his massive library to take, he chooses the compact 13 volume set of Shakespeare his mother gave him. On his voyage Carnegie paints a vivid portrait of Japan, China, Singapore, Egypt, India, and many countries the world over.
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