Search This Blog

Monday, November 12, 2012

Was Andrew Carnegie a U.S. citizen?

Library of Congress photo
"Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life.”Andrew Carnegie

As I watched the History Channel's "Men Who Made America" last night, I was intrigued by references to the life of steel industrialist Andrew Carnegie who immigrated to America with his family and later became the richest man in the world.

November 25 marks what would have been the 177th birthday of Carnegie, an immigrant from Dunfermline, Scotland who was also known as the "Star-Spangled Scotsman” and died in 1919 in Lenox, Mass.

It appears that had Carnegie lived during the time of Donald Trump, he would have some explaining to do over whether he was a U.S. citizen, and this controversy did come up during his lifetime but was swept under the rug.

Some claim that Carnegie never became a U.S. citizen. According to a 2005 biography done by Nicholas P. Resetar, "There is no evidence of Carnegie ever becoming naturalized as a U.S. citizen...'' According to David Nasaw who wrote the book "Andrew Carnegie," the multi-millionaire claimed he lost his naturalization papers and actually became a citizen at age 50, a year before he married Louise Whitfield Carnegie who was a native of Manhattan, N.Y.

The New York Times ran an article on October 25, 1888 claiming that Carnegie was a U.S. citizen through the process of naturalization. Read the document at and decide for yourself.

James Bryce with Carnegie (public domain photo)
Carnegie never let the fact that he was born outside the U.S. deter him in helping to create a better America. The Carnegie Foundation is actively working towards comprehensive immigration reform, working through its "Strengthening U.S. Democracy" program, Federation for American Immigration Reform, NumbersUSA, and the Center for Immigration Studies.

©2012 Tomi Johnson. All rights reserved

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment or email your comments to