A.D. "Pete" Correll, a man famous both for being the former CEO Of Georgia-Pacific and a major philanthropist in the Atlanta-area, has died of kidney failure at the age of 80.
As CEO of Georgia-Pacific, Alston D. “Pete” Correll helped the company grow from a forest-industry materials manufacturer to a consumer-products company, leading to its acquisition by Koch Industries in 2006. In addition, he joined the fight to change Georgia’s flag, played a key role in helping Grady Hospital escape financial ruin, and was an early backer of the BeltLine.
Correll's philanthropic achievements are significant. He helped save Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta from financial ruin. He was the co-chair of a commission that had the world-renowned Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport renamed so that it would honor Maynard Jackson, the city's first Black mayor. He and his wife gave $5 million dollars to their alma mater, the University of Georgia, so that it could start a scholarship for students who face serious financial issues. He served on the board of the Georgia Aquarium and gave back to Brunswick, Georgia, the coastal Georgia city in which he grew up.
After completing his undergraduate work at the University of Georgia and using a scholarship to earn two master's degrees at the University of Maine, Correll worked at various paper mills before settling at Georgia-Pacific in 1988. He became chairman and the CEO of the company in 1993, using his position to help buildup the company into the giant it is today. He also negotiated the $21 billion sale of the company to Koch Industries in 2006.
Correll is survived by his wife of 58 years, Ada Lee, daughter Elizabeth Correll Richards and his daughter, Elizabeth, his son, Alston, and five grandchildren.