175 Makers of History: Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans

Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans
First Female Emory Trustee

Lettie Evans

Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans (1872–1953) was a businesswoman and philanthropist born in Bedford, Virginia.

Her first husband, Joseph Brown Whitehead Sr., working with a partner, acquired the rights to bottle Coca-Cola across the U.S. from company founder Asa Candler in 1899. After her husband died unexpectedly in 1906, she oversaw his businesses, including the Coca-Cola bottling interests. In 1913 she married Arthur Kelly Evans and later became one of the first female directors of a large American corporation when she joined the board of The Coca-Cola Company in 1934.

Evans was a generous philanthropist; her gifts to Emory through the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation included the Conkey Pate Whitehead Surgical Pavilion at Emory University Hospital, named for the younger of her two sons. She also served as an Emory trustee.