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