Andrew Carnegie


Andrew Carnegie


Andrew Carnegie was a generous supporter of the New York Philharmonic Society, meeting its annual deficits in its early years. One year the society’s secretary came as usual to Carnegie’s mansion, this time requesting $60,000. Carnegie was just about to sign the check when he paused and said, “No, I’ve changed my mind. Surely there are other people who like music enough to help with their own money.” He then told the secretary to go out and raise half the necessary amount, promising to match it with the other half when this had been done.

The following day the secretary was back at the Carnegie mansion, announcing that he had raised the requisite money. Carnegie commended the man’s enterprise and wrote out and signed his check for $30,000. As he handed it over he said, “Would you mind telling me who gave you the other half?”

“Not at all. Mrs. Carnegie.”


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

Biographical Note: 

Andrew Carnegie was a Scottish-born U.S. businessman and philanthropist. He considered that the rich had a responsibility toward society, a view put forward in his book The Gospel of Wealth (1900). He provided capital for numerous social and educational projects, including many libraries.