Asa Griggs Candler

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Asa Griggs Candler
Asa G. C..jpg
41st Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia
In office
Preceded by James G. Woodward
Succeeded by James Lee Key
Personal details
Born (1851-12-30)December 30, 1851
Villa Rica, Georgia
Died March 12, 1929(1929-03-12) (aged 77)
Atlanta, Georgia
Nationality American
Spouse(s) Lucy Elizabeth Howard
(m. 1878; her death 1919)
Children 5
Occupation Businessman
Known for Co-founder of Coca-Cola

Asa Griggs Candler (December 30, 1851 – March 12, 1929) was an American business tycoon who founded the Coca-Cola Company.[1] 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.


Candler was born on December 30, 1851 in Villa Rica, Georgia.[1] His father was Samuel C. Candler.[2] He started his business career as a drugstore clerk and manufacturer of patent medicines. In 1888 he bought the formula for Coca-Cola from its inventor John Pemberton and several other shareholders for $550. The success of Coca-Cola was largely due to Candler's aggressive marketing of the product. Candler made millions of dollars from his investment, allowing him to establish the Central Bank and Trust Corp., invest in real estate, and became a major philanthropist for the Methodist Church. He gave a $1 million plus land gift to Emory University, a Methodist college, for the school to move from Oxford, Georgia, to Atlanta. This gift was influenced by Asa's younger brother, Methodist Bishop Warren Akin Candler, who became president of Emory. Candler also gave millions to what would later become Emory Hospital. The school's original library now houses classrooms and a reading room named for him, as well as endowed chairs in the school's chemistry department.[citation needed]

In 1906 he completed Atlanta's then-tallest building, the Candler Building,[3] whose intricately detailed 17 stories still stands at Peachtree and Auburn.[4] In 1912 the Candler Building in New York opened.

Candler was elected mayor of Atlanta in 1916 (taking office in 1917) and ended his day-to-day management of the Coca-Cola Company. As mayor he balanced the city budget and coordinated rebuilding efforts after the Great Atlanta fire of 1917 destroyed 1,500 homes. In 1919 he gave most of the stock in The Coca-Cola Company to his children, who later sold it to a group of investors led by Ernest Woodruff. In 1922 he donated over 50 acres (200,000 m2) of his Druid Hills holdings to the City of Atlanta for what became Candler Park.

Asa Candler suffered a stroke in 1926 and died on March 12, 1929 at Wesley Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.[1] He is buried at Westview Cemetery in southwest Atlanta.


The Candler Field Museum in Williamson, Georgia, has been established to commemorate the original "Candler Field" Atlanta airport.[5]

The "Candler Building" on the northeast corner of East Pratt Street and Market Place in eastern downtown Baltimore, still retains his name. The brick industrial styled building faces the waterfront of the "Basin" (later the famed "Inner Harbor"), of the Baltimore Harbor on the Northwest Branch of the Patapsco River. Used as a regional headquarters for the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the structure was known for having brass door knobs engraved with "CC" for the company. Between the late 1930s and 1960, the building served as the national headquarters of the new Social Security Administration, authorized under the "Social Security Act" of 1935, under the "New Deal" programs of the administration of 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1960, the SSA moved to larger suburban campus in western Baltimore County at Woodlawn, off the then under-construction "Baltimore Beltway" of Interstate 695.

By 2000's 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, with the nearby "Power Plant Live!" development of the David Cordish Company (of famed national commercial developer David S. Cordish), from the old massive streetcar coal-burning power-generating plant from 1900, across the street, into an entertainment and retail destination and district, where the former old Centre Market (also known as "Marsh Market" for the ancient colonial Harrison's Marsh on the site), with its three neighboring buildings for wholesale fish, produce, and dry goods, the oldest of the city's eleven municipal market houses, since 1760's.

Asa Candler was also a philanthropist, endowing numerous schools and universities as well as the Candler Hospital in Savannah, Georgia.

Callan Castle in Inman Park
Candler mansion (built 1916) at 1500 Ponce de Leon Avenue in Druid Hills
John Chrysostom Melkite Church, 2012


Callan Castle, the Candler home in Inman Park, built from 1902 to 1904, still stands as a private home.

His later mansion at 1500 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Druid Hills, built in 1916 eventually became John Chrysostom Melkite Greek Catholic Church.[6]


See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

Preceded by
James G. Woodward
Mayor of Atlanta
Succeeded by
James L. Key