Steve Jobs: One of the greatest business leaders?

Steve Jobs was certainly a CEO deserving of his renown, but was he the best?

By , Contributor

2. Andrew Carnegie: philanthropy

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    Andrew Carnegie, CEO of Carnegie Steel, appears in this undated photo.
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Born in Scotland, Andrew Carnegie came to the United States with his family at the age of 13. While young he experimented in many different fields: he tried work as a telegraph messenger, telegraph operator, and an assistant at Pennsylvania Railroad. Monumental success came to him with Carnegie Steel, which dominated the industry. Carnegie owned everything he needed: "the raw materials, ships and railroads for transporting the goods, and even coal fields to fuel the steel furnaces." His position in the market was so stable that he famously held out against the Homestead Strike of 1892 until guards were called in to break it up by force.

But by the end of his life, Carnegie was better known as a philanthropist. Much of his wealth he attributed to the time he spent reading as a child, and for this reason he decided to sell his business and "spend the rest of his days helping others," most notably by funding the creation of public libraries.

So far, Jobs has proved a less charitable figure. When he rejoined Apple in 1997, writes Peter Elkind in Fortune, "[Jobs] terminated all of [the company’s] long-standing corporate philanthropy programs... citing the need to cut costs until profitability rebounded. But the programs have never been restored."

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