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KNOWN IN HIS time as “King of the Vulcans,” Andrew Carnegie is considered to have been one of the most important figures of the Gilded Age, a time when a thirst for huge profits held sway over conscience. As one of the so-called robber barons, Carnegie vanquished anyone who stood in his way to profit. At a time when the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 banned monopolies in the United States, the Carnegie Steel trust, which controlled the supply, fabrication, and distribution of steel, became a model for other American trusts. When Carnegie decided that he had become rich enough, he divested himself of all steel interests and devoted himself to a life of philanthropy. Carnegie gave away approximately $310 million to various charities ...

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