Andrew Carnegie

United States
25 Nov 1835 // 11 Aug 1919


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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.

'From Oakland: How to Succeed in Life,' The Pittsburgh Bulletin (1903)
Do not make riches, but usefulness, your first aim; and let your chief pride be that your daily occupation is in the line of progress and development; that your work, in whatever capacity it maybe, is useful work, honestly conducted, and as such ennobling to your life.

'From Oakland: How to Succeed in Life,' The Pittsburgh Bulletin (1903)
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.

'Wealth,' North American Review (1889)
The price which society pays for the law of competition, like the price it pays for cheap comforts and luxuries, is also great; but the advantages of this law are also greater still, for it is to this law that we owe our wonderful material development, which brings improved conditions in its train.

'Wealth,' North American Review (1889)
Whatever I am engaged in I must push inordinately.

Personal memorandum (1868)
Dollar making is not necessarily business.
Pay especial attention to speaking in public.

Private memo to himself (1868)
Slight attentions or a kind word to the humble often bring back reward as great as it is unlooked for... I am indebted to these trifles for some of the happiest attentions and the most pleasing incidents of my life.

Autobiography (1920)
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.

Quoted in Intellectual Capital (1997)
If your employer starts upon a course which you think will prove injurious, tell him so, protest, give your reasons, and stand to them unless convinced you are wrong. It is the young man who does this, that capital wants for a partner or for a son-in-law.

'From Oakland: How to Succeed in Life,' The Pittsburgh Bulletin (1903)
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."