November 25 ~  Watch What They Do Steel King & Friend to Libraries

"As I grow older, I pay less attention to what people say. I just watch what they do." ~ Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie A man who let his actions speak for themselves, American steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) was born poor in Dunfermline, Scotland on this day.

"No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it," he once said.

His family moved to America in 1848 to seek a better life. Young Andrew worked hard and found a mentor in Thomas A. Scott of the Pennsylvania Railroad.

"The first man gets the oyster," Carnegie explained. "The second man gets the shell."

Carnegie was frugal and invested wisely. By 1868, he was worth $400,000; by 1899, he controlled 1/4 of American steel production; by 1902, he was the richest man in the world.

"Concentration is my motto," he once declared. "First honesty, then industry, then concentration."

Carnegie had great respect for education and believed wealth should be used for the public good. For art and cultural excellence, he built Carnegie Hall in New York and the Peace Palace at The Hague.

"The man who dies rich...dies disgraced," he said, and lived these words with supreme acts of philanthropy.

He generously endowed educational grants, nearly 3000 public libraries, and a research grant to struggling scientist Marie Curie. When he died in 1919, Carnegie had given away over $350 million. In today's economy, his gifts would surpass a half billion dollars.

More CARNEGIE Quotations

Pay attention to what people DO, not what they say they are going to do.