Joseph B. Whitehead
Joseph Brown Whitehead was one of the original bottlers of Coca-Cola. Together with Benjamin F. Thomas, he secured the rights to bottle and sell Coca-Cola in most of the United States. In 1900, he established the Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Company, later The Coca-Cola Bottling Company, in Atlanta with business partner John T. Lupton. They sold franchises to other bottlers, expanding Coca-Cola’s reach and laying the groundwork for a national bottling system.
Mr. Whitehead died in 1906, before he could see the Coca-Cola bottle become the world’s most recognized icon. His brief but fruitful career created a lasting legacy, however, in both the beverage business and the city he called home. Philanthropically inclined, Mr. Whitehead was active in civic and religious affairs and gave generously to local churches, orphanages and human service organizations in Atlanta.
His example inspired his eldest son, Joseph B. Whitehead Jr., to establish a foundation in his name. Mr. Whitehead Jr. specified in his will that the foundation should aid the poor and needy in Atlanta, and children in particular.