A native of Scotland, Andrew Carnegie emigrated to Allegheny, Pennsylvania, in his youth and through voracious reading and personal initiative became one of the richest men in American history. His autobiography recounts the real-life, rags-to-riches tale of an immigrant's rise from telegrapher's clerk to captain of industry and steel magnate. One of the earliest memoirs of an American capitalist, The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie appeared shortly after the 84-year-old author's death in 1919.
Industrialist, innovator, scholar, and philanthropist, Carnegie gave away more than 90 percent of his wealth for the establishment of libraries, schools, and hospitals. In addition to describing how he amassed his enormous fortune, his memoirs chronicle the deliberate and systematic distribution of his fortune for the enlightenment and betterment of humanity. This volume includes Carnegie's essay "The Gospel of Wealth," in which he outlines his philanthropic views, stating that "the millionaire will be but a trustee for the poor," bestowing charity on those willing to help themselves.