Alumni

Born in the Carolinas

The man behind Pepsi was born in the Carolinas.

The man behind Pepsi was born in the Carolinas.

One of Pepsi’s most recent slogans is “Born in the Carolinas.” More than that, the man behind the popular soft drink, Caleb Bradham, was also born in the Carolinas.

Bradham was raised in Chinquapin, North Carolina and enrolled at Carolina in 1886 before becoming a pharmacist in New Bern.

Bradham enjoyed making both medicines and beverages, so when he opened his own pharmacy, it included an in-store soda fountain. Before Pepsi became what it is today, it was known as “Brad’s Drink,” a staple of his pharmacy believed to aid digestion and ease an upset stomach. He renamed the beverage to Pepsi-Cola in 1898, and by 1915, Bradham had a $1 million company on his hands.

Even after a Wall Street banker purchased the company, Bradham continued to support Carolina. He sponsored the Bradham Prize for scholarship at the UNC School of Pharmacy until 1930.

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