Founding Libraries

This passage is about Andrew Carnegie, who funded many public libraries.

Lexile Level: 770L

Categories: History People & Places


It is hard to imagine a town or city without a public library. In the 1800s, however, many areas of the United States lacked libraries. One man more than any other helped change that. Andrew Carnegie spent the first 65 years of his life becoming the second-richest man on Earth. He built a company called U.S. Steel and made the United States the largest steel-producing country on the planet. This fueled the Industrial Revolution both in the United States and throughout Europe. Eventually Carnegie tired of running the huge company. He sold it and started giving his riches away. He is known for almost single-handedly bankrolling the public library system. During the last fifteen years of his life, he built over 3,000 public libraries. Every state in the United States except Alaska, Rhode Island, and Delaware has at least one Carnegie library. So when you check out your next book, remember to thank Andrew.


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