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Asa Griggs CandlerFounder & President, The Coca-Cola CompanyBoard Chair, Emory University41st Mayor, Atlanta

Asa Griggs Candler (December 30, 1851 – March 12, 1929) was an American business tycoon who owned the Coca-Cola Company, which he founded in Atlanta, Georgia in 1892. He also served as the 41st Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia from 1916 to 1919. Candler Field, the site of the present-day Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, was named after him, as is Candler Park in Atlanta.

Asa Griggs Candler's "million-dollar letter" of July 16, 1914, set in motion the founding of Emory University in DeKalb County and the move of Emory College to Atlanta from Oxford. He chaired Emory's Board of Trustees for more than 30 years.

Educational Background

Asa's formal education began shortly before his fifth birthday and ended when he was ten years old. Candler could have chosen to attend Emory College for a year (as a sub-freshman), yet he chose to let his brother, Warren, attend in his place because "Warren's choice of career was a noble one (Ministry)."

Knowing that he had an interest in the medical field (but did not have the money to attend medical school), Candler decided to pursue a career as a druggist. This introduced him to the medical field, but required no formal education. Asa became an apprentice to Doctors Best and Kirkpatrick and acquired knowledge as he did varied tasks for the two. His earnings as an apprentice were meager, so Asa decided to move to Atlanta. With very little money and no job Candler went from drug store to drug store in Atlanta asking for a job. He was hired by George Jefferson Howard, the father of his future wife, Lucy Elizabeth.