In His Own Words. A Q&A with Vartan Gregorian. “Andrew Carnegie’s Legacy”

Established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to “do real and permanent good in this world” Carnegie Corporation of New York is approaching its centennial year.  As part of our commemoration, we will celebrate Andrew Carnegie’s legacy and philosophy of giving and reflect on our grantees’ and partners’ accomplishments.  

Recently, as part of this centennial commemoration, Susan King, a Carnegie Corporation Vice President of External Affairs and former journalist, spoke with Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation of New York, about his thoughts on Andrew Carnegie, American philanthropy and prospects for the future. Read the Q&A.

In the first installment of a wide-ranging interview which will be released in five parts over the course of the next year, Vartan Gregorian discusses Andrew Carnegie’s distinct vision and its impact on the grantmaker as a young boy of Armenian parentage growing up in Iran.  He then discusses the impulses that drove Carnegie’s philanthropy and how they distinguished the Scottish-born industrialist from another “father of American philanthropy,” John D. Rockefeller.  Focusing on the notion of perpetuity that Mr. Carnegie built-in to the Corporation, Gregorian speaks about the constant pressure it exerts on a grantmaking foundation to remain relevant.  Gregorian concludes the first installment of the interview with his thoughts on why Carnegie Corporation’s centennial must also be a teaching moment.