SCOTS schoolchildren should have lessons on Andrew Carnegie according to businessman Sir Tom Hunter.
The entrepreneur and former richest man in Scotland said the life of Carnegie should be used to inspire today’s generations.
Carnegie, the Fife-born industrialist and philanthropist, emigrated to the US in 1835 when he 13, amassed a huge fortune in the steel industry, and gave £3bn to charity.
Sir Tom, Scotland’s first ever home-grown billionaire, wants to know why Scottish children are not taught about Carnegie.
Speaking at the launch of the second Carnegie Day in Dumfermline, Fife, on Tuesday, he said: “His story deserves to be told and deserves to be understood.
“The question I have asked the Scottish Parliament is why do we not teach the Andrew Carnegie story in our schools today?
“We all know the story but why does every Scottish pupil not leave school with the gist of that story?”
Sir Tom, who first made his fortune selling retail brand Sports Division to JJB in 1998, added that Carnegie is a global influence even today.
“People do not choose to be born into poverty, or born with no opportunity,” he said.
“Carnegie believed in, and I support the view, that opportunity should prevail for all, for all those working to get on the ladder themselves.
“We need Scotland to believe we can innovate – we can find the next Google, the next Amazon, the next Microsoft.”
Carnegie only had four years of formal education, but he grew up in a family which believed in the importance of books and of learning. His first job, aged 13, was working in a cotton mill for £0.76 a week.
He went on to become the richest man in the world, but gave away most of his income and opened 1,689 public libraries across America.
In an article written in 1889 he wrote: “In bestowing charity the main consideration should be to help those who help themselves.
“The main who dies rich dies in disgrace.”
Sir Tom, who holds the Carnegie medal for Philanthropy, said that he believes Scotland wants “positive change” after being inspired by the referendum.
He added: “We do not want foodbanks opening or homelessness growing by the day. This is supposed to be a modern society, and that is not good enough for me, should not be good enough for you and should not be good enough for Scotland.
“We need to move away from the culture of blame and on to innovation.
“It is time to stop putting a sticking plaster on problems and instead look to sustainable solutions.”