John Thomas Lupton
John Thomas Lupton (1862–1933) was an American lawyer, industrialist and philanthropist who, along with Benjamin Thomas and Joseph Whitehead, obtained exclusive rights from Asa Griggs Candler to bottle and sell Coca-Cola.
Early Life[edit | edit source]
Lupton was born near Winchester, Virginia and received a degree in law from the University of Virginia. After a visit to the home of a fellow student, he settled in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1887. Lupton soon met Elizabeth Patten, daughter of Chattem founder Zeboim Cartter Patten, and they married on November 14, 1889. They had a son named Cartter Lupton, to whom they left the bulk of their combined wealth.
Career with Coca-Cola[edit | edit source]
After his marriage, Lupton took a job as legal counsel to the Chattanooga Medicine Company (now Chattem), eventually becoming company vice president and treasurer. Whitehead, Lupton, and Thomas were the primary investors in the Dixie Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the first Coca-Cola bottling plant in the United States. Following the business' rapid success, the partners divided the country into territories and gave various family members responsibility over them and began selling bottling franchises. By 1909, nearly 400 bottling operations had been opened. Lupton's grandson sold the family's bottling operations back to Coca-Cola in 1986 for $1.4 billion in cash.