Asa Griggs Candler
Coca-Cola Founder; Philanthropist; Emory Board Chair
In 1887, Asa Griggs Candler bought the formula for Coca-Cola, quickly developing The Coca-Cola Company into one of the most prosperous enterprises in the region.
Ever the philanthropist, Candler shared his wealth with Atlanta, buying land to help head off a real estate slump, loaning money to desperate cotton growers until prices rose, and averting a crisis in city government by agreeing to serve as mayor in 1917.
A faithful supporter of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (MECS), Candler offered a gift of $1 million when the MECS expressed interest in expanding Emory College into a university and relocating it to Atlanta. Altogether, he gave $7 million to Emory, a staggering sum for the time.