Pemberton was born on July 8, 1831, in Knoxville, Georgia, and spent most of his childhood in Rome, Georgia. Stith Pemberton entered the Reform Medical College of Georgia in Macon, Georgia, and in 1850, at the age of nineteen, he earned his medical degree. His main talent was chemistry. After initially practicing some medicine and surgery, Dr. Pemberton opened a drug store in Columbus.
In 1865. he left Columbus for Atlanta, and began experimenting with a health drink called "French Wine Cola" made from extracts of the coca leaf and the kola nut. When Atlanta introduced Prohibition in 1886, he substituted sugar syrup for the wine, re–named it "Coca–Cola" after its central ingredients, and the "pause that refreshes" with its secret formula was born.
Soon after Coca-Cola hit the market, Dr. Pemberton fell ill and nearly bankrupt. Sick and desperate, he began selling rights to his formula to his business partners in Atlanta. Pemberton had a hunch that his formula "someday will be a national drink", so he attempted to retain a share of the ownership to leave to his son. However, Pemberton's son wanted the money, so in 1888, Pemberton and his son sold the remaining portion of the patent to a fellow Atlanta pharmacist, Asa Griggs Candler, for US$1,750.
In 1892, Candler 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 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 1919 Candler gave most of the stock in The Coca-Cola Company to his children.
According to en.wikipedia