19th Century

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Asa Candler

Metro Atlanta
December 30, 1851 - Villa Rica, Atlanta

He took Coca-Cola from the drug store to Main Street, and endowed a great university. Asa Candler was born in Villa Rica in 1851. While working as a pharmacist in Atlanta in 1887 he bought the rights and formula for Coca-Cola from John Pemberton for $2,300.
Candler thought the concoction’s future was a soft drink rather than a medicine, and he founded the Coca-Cola Company to manufacture and advertise it across the country.
Candler made Coke a household brand and Coke made him a millionaire. He eventually sold the company for $25 million. Candler turned to real estate and developed the Druid Hills neighborhood outside Atlanta and built the Candler Building downtown to house his Central Bank and Trust Company.
A devout Methodist, Candler donated $1 million and 75 acres of land in 1914 to help establish Emory University in atlanta. His gifts to Emory eventually totaled more than $8 million.
Candler also served as mayor of Atlanta and pulled the city out of financial trouble.
The man who turned a patent medicine into an icon of American culture was born on December 30, 1851, Today in Georgia History.

Fast Fact

Callan Castle, the Candler home in Inman Park, is still standing as a private home.

Today in Georgia History is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.