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Asa Griggs Candler (December 30, 1851 - March 12, 1929) was an American business tycoon who purchased the Coca-Cola Company for USD1,750 from chemist John Stith Pemberton in Atlanta, Georgia in 1892 and developed it as a major company.
The second son, Asa G. Candler, Jr. (1880-1953), eccentric, alcoholic, and depressed, became a real-estate developer, opening the Briarcliff Hotel. His Briarcliff mansion and estate--also on Briarcliff Road in Druid Hills--was adapted for use as an alcoholosm rehab center, then a psychiatric hospital. It is now owned by Emory University and used as its Briarcliff campus. Asa Jr.'s menagerie of animals enabled a major expansion of Zoo Atlanta in the 1930s.
Third son, Walter T. Candler (1885-1967), was a businessman, philanthropist, and horse sportsman. His Lullwater House and estate has been adapted for use as the residence of the Emory University President. Another portion is a park, and other land is the site of a Veterans Administration complex in Druid Hills. Walter T. Candler had one daughter.
Youngest son, William Candler (1890 - 1936), was the local financier of the Atlanta Biltmore Hotel and Biltmore Apartments. He was elected president of the Biltmore Corporation in February 1930, and was manager of the Biltmore Hotel. His mansion, named Rest Haven, is located on Springdale Road in Druid Hills.
Founder of Coca-Cola
A druggist in 1888, Asa Griggs Candler met John Stith Pemberton and was intrigued by a sweet, carbonated drink he had developed. Candler bought the Coca-Cola recipe from Pemberton, for an amount rumored to be $2,300. The drink was derived from brewed coca leaves, as well as caffeine, carbonated water, and sugar. In 1892, he founded the Coca-Cola Company. The following year, he trademarked the brand and distributed the first dividends to the company's shareholders.
By 1895, the company was distributing Coca-Cola nationwide in the United States. It first started exporting in 1899, to Cuba. Exports to Europe started two years later. He also developed the famous "$1 contract" where he sold the rights to bottle Coca-Cola in the US for only one dollar. At first, the company advertised Coca-Cola as a drink that relieved mental and physical fatigue, and cured headaches.
In 1903, Candler decided to remove the cocaine component from the coca leaves before mixing them with the drink, and to sell the extracted cocaine to pharmaceutical companies. In 1911, the company reached an annual advertising budget of $1 million. In 1915, the bottling company Root Glass Co. created the iconic Coca-Cola bottle.
In 1916, after Candler was elected mayor of Atlanta, he ended his day-to-day management of the Coca-Cola Company. In 1917, the Coca-Cola company agreed to reduce by 50% the amount of caffeine in the drink. In 1919 Candler gave most of the stock in The Coca-Cola Company to his children. They sold their shares to a consortium of investors led by Ernest Woodruff..
In 1916, Candler was elected mayor of Atlanta (taking office in 1917). As mayor he balanced the city budget and coordinated rebuilding efforts after the Great Atlanta fire of 1917 destroyed 1,500 homes. He also made large personal loans in order to develop the water and sewage facilities of the city of Atlanta, in order to provide the infrastructure necessary to a modern city.
By the 2000s, as the old waterfront area and municipal piers area were being redeveloped from commercial and industrial uses, the Candler Building was renovated for offices and some apartments/condos.
Kansas City, the Western Auto Building was known as the Coca-Cola Building or Candler Building when constructed for the Coca-Cola Company in 1914, and during its occupancy. It has been converted to loft condominiums.
^"Candler Mansion". St. John's Chrysostom Melkite Church. Archived from the original on November 14, 2007. Retrieved 2009. Before all of this present and holy utilization of this place, this [...] mansion [...] was formerly the home of Asa Candler