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73 Inspiring Quotes by Andrew Carnegie

  • Last updated Jul 27 2021

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Andrew Carnegie.

Wikipedia Summary for Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie (Scots pronunciation: [kɑrˈnɛːɡi], English approximation: kar-NEH-ghee; November 25, 1835 – August 11, 1919) was a Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist. Carnegie led the expansion of the American steel industry in the late 19th century and became one of the richest Americans in history. He became a leading philanthropist in the United States and in the British Empire.

During the last 18 years of his life, he gave away ~$350 million (roughly $5.2 billion in 2019) to many charities, foundations, and universities – almost 90 percent of his fortune. His 1889 article proclaiming "The Gospel of Wealth" called on the rich to use their wealth to improve society, expressed support for progressive taxation and an estate tax, and stimulated a wave of philanthropy.

Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, and emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1848 at age 12. Carnegie started work as a telegrapher, and by the 1860s had investments in railroads, railroad sleeping cars, bridges, and oil derricks. He accumulated further wealth as a bond salesman, raising money for American enterprise in Europe. He built Pittsburgh's Carnegie Steel Company, which he sold to J. P. Morgan in 1901 for $303,450,000. It became the U.S. Steel Corporation. After selling Carnegie Steel, he surpassed John D. Rockefeller as the richest American for the next several years.

Carnegie devoted the remainder of his life to large-scale philanthropy, with special emphasis on local libraries, world peace, education, and scientific research. With the fortune he made from business, he built Carnegie Hall in New York, NY, and the Peace Palace and founded the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Carnegie Institution for Science, Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, Carnegie Hero Fund, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, among others.

girl leaning on wall during daytime

No man becomes rich unless he enriches others.

--Andrew Carnegie



pink and white tulips on white surface

There is no class so pitiably wretched as that which possesses money and nothing else.

--Andrew Carnegie

black fishes

Any person can achieve greatness if they understand the philosophy of success and the steps required to achieve it.

--Andrew Carnegie

leafless tree

You must capture and keep the heart of the original and supremely able man before his brain can do its best.

--Andrew Carnegie

group of people waving their hands

The best time to expand is when no one else dares to take risks.

--Andrew Carnegie

black and white abstract illustration

The greatest astonishment of my life was the discovery that the man who does the work is not the man who gets rich.

--Andrew Carnegie




brown and gray mountains during daytime

The more difficult a problem becomes, the more interesting it is.

--Andrew Carnegie

sunset

The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work.

--Andrew Carnegie

Longer Version:

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


person standing on rock formation during daytime

There is scarcely an instance of a man who has made a fortune by speculation and kept it.

--Andrew Carnegie


None

Be king in your dreams. Make your vow that you will reach that position, with untarnished reputation, and make no other vow to distract your attention.

--Andrew Carnegie

yellow and green forest during daytime

One great cause of failure of young men in business is lack of concentration.

--Andrew Carnegie

white satellite dish under starry night

The sole purpose of being rich is to give away money.

--Andrew Carnegie


green bird perching on stem

Mutual ignorance breeds mutual distrust.

--Andrew Carnegie

yellow and blue painted wall

Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate.

--Andrew Carnegie

Longer Version:

Ninety percent of all millionaires become so through owning real estate. More money has been made in real estate than in all industrial investments combined. The wise young man or wage earner of today invests his money in real estate.


silhouette of mountains under blue sky during daytime

The wise young man or wage earner of today invests his money in real estate.

--Andrew Carnegie

pink and yellow flower painting

No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.

--Andrew Carnegie

aerial photo of foggy mountains

The men who have succeeded are men who have chosen one line and stuck to it.

--Andrew Carnegie

brown and gray floral textile

Give me a man with an average ability but a burning desire to succeed and I will give you a winner in exchange every time.

--Andrew Carnegie




stars across the sky view at the desert

You are what you think. So just think big, believe big, act big, work big, give big, forgive big, laugh big, love big and live big.

--Andrew Carnegie

white pendant lamp

Strength is derived from unity. The range of our collective vision is far greater when individual insights become one.

--Andrew Carnegie

green fern plant

Pioneering don't pay.

--Andrew Carnegie

red strawberry fruit on red surface

There is no way of making a business successful that can vie with the policy of promoting those who render exceptional service.

--Andrew Carnegie

white flower

Mr. Morgan buys his partners; I grow my own.

--Andrew Carnegie

sunset

I will give a million dollars for any convincing proof of a future life.

--Andrew Carnegie

road in the middle of grass covered field during day

There is no use whatever trying to help people who do not help themselves. You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he be willing to climb himself.

--Andrew Carnegie

man in blue jacket and blue pants carrying black and red backpack standing on snow covered

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.

--Andrew Carnegie

seashore at daytime

Do real and permanent good in this world.

--Andrew Carnegie

person standing on top of mountain

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

--Andrew Carnegie

silver round analog wall clock

Touch his head, and he will bargain and argue with you to the last; Touch his heart, and he falls upon your breast.

--Andrew Carnegie

lightning strike at night

The secret of success lies not in doing your own work, but in recognizing the right man to do it.

--Andrew Carnegie

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And while the law of competition may be sometimes hard for the individual, it is best for the race, because it ensures the survival of the fittest in every department.

--Andrew Carnegie

yellow green leaf

People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.

--Andrew Carnegie

woman in brown long sleeve shirt and blue denim jeans

Golf is an indispensable adjunct to high civilisation.

--Andrew Carnegie

body of water under clear blue sky painting

It is more difficult to give money away intelligently than to earn it in the first place.

--Andrew Carnegie


If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.

--Andrew Carnegie

body of water under blue sky with stars

A man who was generous with his wealth. It has been reported that during his lifetime, Carnegie gave away over $350 million of his money to help others.

--Andrew Carnegie

red fire illustration

Aim for the highest.

--Andrew Carnegie

3 women playing soccer on green grass field during daytime

Whatever I engage in, I must push inordinately.

--Andrew Carnegie


high-angle photography of beach side

The only irreplaceable capital an organization possesses is the knowledge and ability of its people. The productivity of that capital depends on how effectively people share their competence with those who can use it.

--Andrew Carnegie

lake beside green pine trees

Do not look for approval except for the consciousness of doing your best.

--Andrew Carnegie

woman wearing black top standing near yellow wall

I choose free libraries as the best agencies for improving the masses of the people, because they give nothing for nothing. They only help those who help themselves.

--Andrew Carnegie

Arizona landscape pines

Every act you have ever performed since the day you were born was performed because you wanted something.

--Andrew Carnegie

white clouds and blue sky during daytime

I began to learn what poverty meant. It was burnt in my heart then that my father had to beg for work and there came the resolve that I would cure that when I got to be a man.

--Andrew Carnegie

landscape photo of mountains under starry sky at nighttime

Take away my people, but leave my factories and soon grass will grow on the factory floors......Take away my factories, but leave my people and soon we will have a new and better factory.

--Andrew Carnegie

black and white window illustration

Do your duty and a little more and the future will take care of itself.

--Andrew Carnegie

aerial photography of mountain range covered with snow under white and blue sky at daytime

I wish to have as my epitaph: 'Here lies a man who was wise enough to bring into his service men who knew more than he.'

--Andrew Carnegie

bonfire in forest

Instead of the question "What must I do for my employer?" substitute "What can I do.

--Andrew Carnegie

None

Men are developed the same way gold is mined. When gold is mined, several tons of dirt must be moved to get an ounce of gold; but one doesn't go into the mine looking for dirt--one goes in looking for the gold.

--Andrew Carnegie

women's black and pink monokini

The older I get the less I listen to what people say and the more I look at what they do.

--Andrew Carnegie


long-coated white and brown puppy

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.

--Andrew Carnegie

girl and boy figurines

And there is no use whatever, gentlemen, trying to help people who do not help themselves. You cannot push any one up a ladder unless he be willing to climb a little himself.

--Andrew Carnegie

clear wine glass with red wine

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!

--Andrew Carnegie

person wearing red running shoe

Strong men don't compromise, it is said, and principles should never be compromised.

--Andrew Carnegie

leafless tree on snow covered ground

The way to become rich is to put all your eggs in one basket and then watch that basket.

--Andrew Carnegie

pink and white clouds

Do not think a man has done his full duty when he has performed the work assigned him. A man will never rise if he does only this. Promotion comes from exceptional work.

--Andrew Carnegie

None

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

--Andrew Carnegie

Longer Version:

Those who would administer charity wisely must, indeed, be wise, for one of the serious obstacles to the improvement of our race is indiscriminate charity. It were better for mankind that the millions of the rich were thrown into the sea than spent to encourage the slothful, the drunken, the unworthy. Of every thousand dollars spent in so-called charity today, it is probable that nine hundred and fifty dollars is unwisely spent -- so spent, indeed, as to produce the very evils which it hopes to mitigate or cure.


person on road at sunset

When I did big things, some large corporations like the Pennsylvania Railroad Company were behind me and responsible party.

--Andrew Carnegie

green trees beside body of water during daytime

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

--Andrew Carnegie

empty gray floor beside pool

It marks a big step in your development when you come to realize that other people can help you do a better job than you could do alone.

--Andrew Carnegie

snow covered brown mountain

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision.

--Andrew Carnegie

Longer Version:

Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.


rock formation under starry skies

The surest foundation of a manufacturing concern is quality. After that, and a long way after, comes cost.

--Andrew Carnegie

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