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Paul Austin

Full name: John Paul Austin
Gender: Male
Born: February 14, 1915 in LaGrange, Georgia, United States
Died: December 26, 1985 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Affiliations: Riverside Boat Club, Cambridge (USA)
Country: USA United States
Sport: Rowing


Paul Austin attended Harvard where he rowed on the crew team, and later attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1940. His Harvard coach once commented, “If you wanted to beat Paul Austin, you’d have to kill him.” After World War II, where he served in the Navy and commanded a PT boat as a lieutenant-commander, he worked briefly at a New York law firm before returning to his native Atlanta, and joined The Coca-Cola Company, having been recruited by the legendary Coke chairman, Robert Woodruff. Woodruff groomed Austin as his successor. Austin became the 10th president of Coca-Cola in 1962, and took over as Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola in 1966, staying in that role thru 1980. Under his tenure, Coke enjoyed 15 consecutive years of market value growth, and he was considered instrumental in expanding its international presence. He also served for a time in the 1970s as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the PGA Tour.

Austin was a big supporter of Martin Luther King and was instrumental in arranging the Atlanta celebrations in honor of his 1964 Nobel Peace prize, despite the city being still largely segregated. Paul Austin was later the first recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change’s Award for corporate social responsibility.


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1936 Summer 21 Berlin Rowing Men's Coxed Fours United States USA 2 h3 r2/3

Men's Coxed Fours

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit T
1936 Summer 21 Berlin Rowing United States USA Semi-Finals Heat Three 8:06.4
1936 Summer 21 Berlin Rowing United States USA Round One Heat Two 6:50.5
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