Today's famous immigrant is steel tycoon, Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie came to America from Scotland in 1848 at the age of 13, started out working in a cotton factory, but went on to become a steel magnate. From the Carnegie Corporation's website:
…at the age of 13, Andrew began his career as a bobbin boy in a cotton factory. A voracious reader, he took advantage of the generosity of an Allegheny citizen who opened his library to local working boys. Books provided most of his education as he moved from being a Western Union messenger boy to telegraph operator and then to a series of positions leading to the superintendent of the Western Division of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
While still employed by the Railroad, Carnegie invested in a new company to manufacture railway sleeping cars. From there, he expanded his business ventures to encompass the building of bridges, locomotives and rails. In 1865, he organized the first of his many companies, the Keystone Bridge Company, and in 1873, the first of his steel works.
While I disagree with Carnegie's view that "the rich are merely “trustees” of their wealth and are under a moral obligation to distribute it in ways that promote the welfare and happiness of the common man", I believe in property rights and that Carnegie had the right to spend his money as he pleased. Despite this huge philosophical difference, Carnegie's climb from child laborer to one of the richest men in the world is nothing short of awesome and can remind of us of what the American Dream is really all about, for all of those that come here.