Charles Michael Schwab : American steel magnate ( Born: 18 February 1862 )

Charles Michael Schwab was an American steel magnate. Under his leadership, Bethlehem Steel became the second-largest steel maker in the United States, and one of the most important heavy manufacturers in the world.


Charles Schwab, was born in Williamsburg, Pennsylvania, the son of Pauline (née Farabaugh) and John Anthony Schwab. All four of his grandparents were Roman Catholic immigrants from Germany. Schwab was raised in Loretto, Pennsylvania, which he considered his home town.

"A man to carry on a successful business must have imagination. He must see things as in a vision, a dream of the whole thing."

Schwab began his career as an engineer in Andrew Carnegie's steelworks, starting as a stake-driver in the engineering corps of the Edgar Thomson Steel Works and Furnaces in Braddock, Pennsylvania. He was promoted often, including to the positions of general superintendent of the Homestead Works in 1887. and general superintendent of the Edgar Thomson Steel Works in 1890. In 1897, at only 35 years of age, he became president of the Carnegie Steel Company. In 1901, he helped negotiate the secret sale of Carnegie Steel to a group of New York–based financiers led by J. P. Morgan. After the buyout, Schwab became the first president of the United States Steel Corporation, the company formed out of Carnegie's former holdings.


After several clashes with Morgan and fellow US Steel executive Elbert Gary, Schwab left USS in 1903 to run the Bethlehem Shipbuilding and Steel Company in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The company had gained shipyards in California, Delaware, and New Jersey through its brief but fortunate involvement as one of the few solvent enterprises in United States Shipbuilding Company. Under his leadership (and that of Eugene Grace), it became the largest independent steel producer in the world. A major part of Bethlehem Steel's success was the development of the H-beam, a precursor of today's ubiquitous I-beam. Schwab was interested in mass-producing the wide flange steel beam, but that was a risky venture that required raising capital and building a large new plant, all to make a product whose ability to sell was unproven. In his most famous remark, Schwab told his secretary, "I've thought the whole thing over, and if we are going bust, we will go bust big."

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