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Carl Ware papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 0000-0000-0000-0097

Scope and Contents

The Carl Ware Papers spans the dates 1938-2011, with the bulk of the material dated from 1977-2000. The collection contains personal papers, including appointment books and memorabilia; manuscripts of his unpublished memoirs; photographs; documents related to his board of directors work and other organizational affiliations; materials from his career with Coca-Cola and Atlanta City Council, and speeches.


  • Creation: 1938-2011
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1977-2000


Rights Statement

All materials in this collection are either protected by copyright or are the property of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., and/or the copyright holder as appropriate. For more information, please contact

Biographical note

Carl Ware, (b. 1943) is a corporate executive, politician, humanitarian, mentor, philanthropist and board member of many organizations. He was born in 1943 in Newnan, Georgia to Ulas B. and Lois Wimberly Ware, who were both sharecroppers. Ware received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University in 1965, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 1968. Ware later entered the International Senior Management Program at the Harvard Business School where he graduated in 1991.

In addition to his educational achievements, Ware has served as the Director of Housing for the Urban League of Pittsburgh from 1968 – 1970; Director of Family and Community Services and Director of Urban Redevelopment for the Atlanta Housing Authority from 1970 – 1973; Councilman (President) for the Atlanta City Council from 1973 – 1979; Urban and Governmental Affairs Specialist for Coca-Cola Company from 1974 – 1979; Vice President of USA Special Markets for Coca-Cola Company from 1979 – 1982; Senior Vice President for Coca-Cola Company from 1986 – 1991; Deputy Group President for Coca-Cola Company of Northeast Europe/Africa Group from 1991 – 1999; and Executive Vice President of Global Public Affairs and Administration for Coca-Cola Company from 2000 – 2006.

Ware has also served as a board member for Georgia Power, Southern African Enterprise, Medical Education for South African Blacks, Africa-America Institute, Council on Foreign Relations, ChevronTexaco and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Clark Atlanta University.

From his humble beginnings to serving as the Urban and Governmental Affairs Specialist for the Coca-Cola Company in 1974 to serving as the President of the Africa Group and Co-Chairman of the Diversity Advisory Council for the Coca-Cola Company to its present day, Ware has embodied the slogan of “climbing the corporate ladder.” Over the years, the Coca-Cola Company was no stranger to controversial issues that were a public relations nightmare, and as head of its new division, Ware was responsible for shaping the worldwide image of the company. The Coca-Cola Company’s new CEO, Douglas Daft, stated in the company announcement of the promotion that “Carl’s principal role is to ensure that the Coca-Cola Company continues to be welcome around the world, and that we apply ‘community’ and ‘neighbor’ equally to those who live next door or on the next continent.” Ware’s most challenging tasks included the company’s philanthropic goals worldwide, nurturing relationships throughout Europe and improving its commitment to diversity in the United States.

After becoming the Vice President of USA Special Markets, where he was responsible for marketing products developed by the Coca-Cola Company to various minority groups worldwide, Ware had to tackle his first controversial issue as a high profile corporate executive on behalf of the company in 1981. Jesse Jackson, a noted civil rights leader since the 1960s, publicly charged that the Coca-Cola Company’s hiring practices for minorities were very poor and discriminatory, and he threaten to mobilize and lead a boycott of the company’s products among African Americans in the US if their hiring practices did not change immediately. Jackson coined the phrase “Don’t choke on Coke.” Ware faced this issue head on through a successful meeting with Jackson where he established a $50 million program that was allotted to minority vendors to work with the Coca-Cola Company.

One of Ware’s most successful efforts for Africa included the organization of a US tour to raise funds on behalf of Nelson Mandela to become the President of South Africa. In fact, this effort made the Coca-Cola Company a household name on the continent of Africa, and the company now sells more than 400 million cases of Coke products each year in country of South Africa alone, which is half of its sales in all of Africa. Other successful efforts in Africa included the support of relief efforts in both Zimbabwe and Rwanda. The Coca-Cola Company’s CEO, Douglas Ivester, issued a statement in 1999 praising Ware for his work stating that he “has been responsible for developing and building our African business into the success that it is today.”

Ware’s success as a high profile corporate executive for the Coca-Cola Company has enabled him to form lasting relationships with some of the world’s most distinguished leaders that include Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He was invited to the White House during the administrations of both President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. Ware also served on a panel with Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair where he made a presentation to the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2001 regarding the Coca-Cola Company’s international efforts for the fight against AIDS. Although officially retiring from the Coca-Cola Company in 2006, Ware has remained connected to his local community and roots by serving as the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Clark Atlanta University as well as supporting the Metropolitan Atlanta United Way.


34.5 Linear feet

Language of Materials



The Papers are arranged into nine series: 1. Personal Papers; 2. Writings by Ware; 3. Speeches by Others; 4. Atlanta City Council; 5. The Coca-Cola Company; 6. Organizations and Affiliations; 7. Photographs; 8. Audio/Visual 9. Oversized Materials.


Oversize materials have been separated to appropriate housing.



Carl Ware papers, 1938-2011
Finding aid prepared by Stacy Jones, 2012 September.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc. Repository


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