Carnegie was one of the most famous leaders of industry of the late 19th and early 20th centuries . His net worth in 2007 dollars would have been $298.3 billion according to Forbes magazine. The Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie , was published posthumously in 1920. The Gospel of Wealth, is an essay written by Andrew Carnegie in 1901 that described the responsibility of philanthropy by the new upper class of self-made rich. The central thesis of Carnegie's essay was the peril of allowing large sums of money to be passed into the hands of persons or organizations ill-equipped mentally or emotionally to cope with them. As a result, the wealthy entrepreneur must assume the responsibility of distributing his fortune in a way that it will be put to good use, and not wasted on frivolous expenditure.