This address will commemorate the centennial of the official dedication of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library by Andrew Carnegie. Interestingly, Mr. Krass' grandmother, Emma Danziger Krass, at age 5, sang with her first grade class at the Library dedication!
William Danziger, Mr. Krass' great, grandfather settled in Carnegie, Pennsylvania and worked nearly his entire life(he died at age 59) at the Duquesne Works of Carnegie Steel Company. Among other jobs, he changed and repaired the lining of the furnaces, a particularly grueling, hot job since they were never completely shut down.
Mr. Krass' grandfather, also Peter Krass, was a contractor who built many houses in Carnegie and vicinity.
Peter Krass, the author of "Carnegie," was baptized in Carnegie and lived for a short time in Bethel Park, before his family moved out-of-town. He is a graduate of Lafayette College and Seton Hall University and a former marketing manager for Dun & Bradstreet. He now lives in Hanover, New Hampshire, with his wife and family.
Andrew Carnegie emigrated from Scotland to Allegheny City, Pennsylvania(now Pittsburgh's North Side) in 1848. From there he developed the Carnegie Steel Company which became the dominant force in the steel industry. With its sale to J.P. Morgan in 1901, Andrew Carnegie became the richest man in the world. Then, he proceeded to give his money away!
Inspired in his youth by a philanthropist who provided a public library for his hometown, Andrew Carnegie provided 2,811 public libraries throughout the English-speaking world. He also used his wealth to create music halls, museums, colleges, and funding for scientific research. In creating the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, he revolutionized higher education. He pioneered modern philanthropy with the 1911 founding of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Peter Krass' talk, based on years of research for the book "Carnegie," will explore the complex personality of the man called Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Krass takes a hard look at his subject while resisting the temptation to either demonize or canonize him. He penetrates the public persona of the ruthless empire-builder and tireless crusader for universal literacy and world peace to show a figure full of internal conflict and contradiction who ultimately made a lasting contribution to civilization.
The Andrew Carnegie Free Library was the fourth library built and endowed by Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Carnegie could not attend the official opening on May 1, 1901. So, the official dedication came a year later(April 22, 1902) when, accompanied by astronomer and Western University of Pennsylvania(now the University of Pittsburgh) Chancellor John A. Brashear, he visited the Andrew Carnegie Free Library. During the dedication ceremony in the Music Hall, Andrew Carnegie provided another gift: a stage curtain on which was painted a picture of Skibo Castle, his Scottish home. Although the original stage curtain did not survive, a re-creation of this historic curtain, including a painting of Skibo Castle, was dedicated in 1997.
People attending Mr. Krass' talk will have the opportunity to purchase the new book and have it autographed by the author, following the address.
Note to Editors and Reporters: Mr. Krass is available for interviews, by telephone, prior to his October 8 address. Contact Glenn A. Walsh at 412-561-7876 or < firstname.lastname@example.org > to make arrangements for an interview. Of course, he will also be available for an interview after the talk.
A photograph of Mr. Krass, and a photograph of the cover of his book, is available for publication by going to Mr. Krass' Internet web site:
< http://www.petekrass.com >
You can obtain more information about Andrew Carnegie at the following Internet web sites:
History of Andrew Carnegie and Carnegie Libraries: < http://www.andrewcarnegie.cc >
History of Astronomer and Optician John A. Brashear: < http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
Glenn A. Walsh, who is arranging Mr. Krass' visit to the Andrew Carnegie Free Library, served on the Board of Trustees of the Andrew Carnegie Free Library from 1995 to 2000; he was Library Treasurer from 1995 to 1996.