THE RICHEST MAN IN THE WORLD (PBS Video, $19.98)
Produced for the Public Broadcasting System’s The American Experience, this video biography traces the life of steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), the Scottish immigrant who arrived in the United States with his family when he was 12-years-old and literally went from rags to riches. With the aid of archival film footage, historic photographs, paintings, and Carnegie’s own words, the program follows his employment as a telegraph operator in his youth to the establishment of the small, but prosperous iron and steel business that was the foundation of the huge Carnegie Steel Company. The video also shows how Carnegie put his dictum–that the rich should return their wealth to the people–into practice by founding almost three thousand libraries around the world and donating millions of dollars in support of education. This philanthropic activity led to the establishment of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the Carnegie Institute of Technology, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. In all, the steel magnate contributed $350 million to various institutions, and when he could not give it away fast enough, he created the Carnegie Corporation in New York City, to do it for him. The video is available only by calling 800-424-7963.