Andrew Carnegie was born on November 25, 1835 in Dunfermline, Scotland. His family was a poor weaver family that lived in a single room that they shared with their neighbouring weaver’s family. In the year 1848, the family migrated to Pennsylvania, United States in order to find a proper job and escape starvation. His father William Carnegie earned money by weaving and peddling linens while his mother would earn few cents by binding shoes. At the age of 13, Andrew himself had to go to work in a Pittsburgh cotton factory in order to support his family which was suffering from poverty.
His first salary was $1.20 per week for which he had to work 6 days a week for 12 hours at a stretch. At the age of 15 he got a job as a telegraph messenger for the Ohio Telegraph company. Now he was being paid $2.50 per week which was almost double that of two years back. Andrew was a hard working person who had experienced the dark side of poverty at a very young age. He would memorize all the business locations in Pittsburgh which helped him make many important connections. He was also adept in distinguishing the different sounds that the incoming telegraph signals made. Within one year he was rewarded for his hard work as he got promoted as an operator.
Carnegie was also interested in reading which led him to make use of the Colonel James Anderson’s library which had stock of more than 350 volumes covering various subjects including business and man management. This is where he would learn about the economy and other nuances involved in running a business successfully. His growth was fuelled by the passion and energy that he showed in his work. From the post of telegraph operator, within a few years he was promoted as the Superintendent of the Pittsburgh Division of the company. Next he was employed in the Pennsylvania Railroad Company.