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Private Wealth, Public Good

November 10, 2009 | CUNY Lecture Series, Graduate Center

The American philanthropist Andrew Carnegie believed his steel fortune should be used for the greater good, says David Nasaw, author of the biography “Andrew Carnegie.” At a roundtable discussion of how Carnegie, J.P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller shaped modern philanthropy, Nasaw, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Professor of History at the Graduate Center, described Carnegie’s outlook: “Without the tremendous rise in the population in the United States there would have been no need for his steel, which was used for the rails to bring Americans west …so the money was not his, it was the community’s.” The event, “Foundations of Modern Philanthropy, Private Wealth to Public Good, 1889-2009,” was sponsored by the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy in cooperation with CUNY Graduate Center, and featured Peter J. Johnson, author of “The Rockefeller Century”; Patty Stonesifer, special advisor to the trustees, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Jean Strouse, author of “Morgan, American Financier,” and was moderated by Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
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