William Clark Bradley was born outside of Columbus Georgia and later moved there, ultimately buying a cotton processing company to begin his business career. He was one of a few members who bought Coca-Cola in its early years for $25 million, where he served as the Chariman of the Board between 1919-1939. He later on got into banking when, in 1930, the banks Columbus Savings Bank and the Third National Bank merged to form the Columbus Bank and Trust. He later purchased his brother-in-law's share of Carter and Bradley and renamed it to W.C. Bradley which he nurtured into a very valuable company spanning multiple industries, including: fertilizer, groceries, real estate and barbecue grill manufacturing.
William is a very charitable and philanthropic person and was known for supporting many individuals financially through the great depression. He has also donated parts of his wealth to several schools, colleges, and museums through the W.C. and Sarah H. Bradley Foundation which later murged with his son-in-law's foundation to become the Bradley-Turner Foundation; in 2003 it had $163.8 million in assets.