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Wednesday, 27 November, 2002, 10:12 GMT
Best of British business: Carnegie

BBC News Online is inviting readers to vote for Britain's greatest business figure. This is the case for Andrew Carnegie.
Judged by the crudest of tests - how much money did he make? - Andrew Carnegie is Britain's greatest-ever entrepreneur.

Andrew Carnegie
Nobody comes even close.

He started out with nothing, the son of a poor Scottish weaver, emigrated to America with his parents when he was just 13, and built a fortune in the steel business that in today's money was worth $100bn.

He was richer than Bill Gates.

Philanthropist

Impressive enough, but it was what Carnegie did with his money that made him a truly great man.

In 1901, aged 65, having sold his steel company to financier JP Morgan, Carnegie became the richest person in the world.

But he was determined not to die that way and he spent the last 18 years of his life giving away his fortune.

He funded venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, theatres, libraries, public parks, and schools and colleges in Britain and America.

Carnegie scholarships have paid for more than 100,000 students to attend Scottish universities.

And his many trusts were so well funded that they're still going strong today.

Magnificent estate

On top of all this, Carnegie had great personal style.

He loved the Scottish Highlands and spent millions developing the magnificent Skibo estate near Dornoch as his summer home.

Like so much of what Carnegie created, Skibo has stood the test of time.

Quite simply, Andrew Carnegie was the man. And he deserves your vote.


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