James Sibley – a prominent Atlanta lawyer and business and civic leader who served on the Coca-Cola board for a dozen years – died Thursday at the age of 96.

Sibley was a retired partner at the law firm King & Spalding, and he came from an influential Atlanta family that had deep connections to Coca-Cola.

Sibley’s father, John A. Sibley, served as a Coca-Cola board member from 1964 to 1980. In 1979, as his father was stepping down, James Sibley was elected to the Coke board. He went on to serve as a director until 1991.

James Sibley – who was known as Jimmy – was vice chair of the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, which is the beneficiary of the estates of famed Coca-Cola leader Robert Woodruff and his wife. The foundation has been enormously influential in Atlanta and beyond, with grants totaling more than $2.6 billion since it was founded.

Sibley was also vice chair of the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation, which is operated in tandem with the Woodruff Foundation. Whitehead was a pioneering Coca-Cola bottler.

In addition to serving on the Coke board, Sibley sat on many other corporate boards during his lifetime, including SunTrust Banks. He was a former chair of the Berry College board of trustees in Rome, Ga., and he was an emeritus trustee of Emory University in Atlanta.

Sibley graduated from Princeton University and attended Harvard Law School. His wife, Karen, died in 2014 at the age of 92.

James and his father both held prominent roles at Atlanta’s best-known law firm, King & Spalding. Early in his career, John Sibley litigated a famous case between Coca-Cola Bottling Co. and The Coca-Cola Company that centered on whether a contract from 1899 could be revoked by Coca-Cola. Sibley won the case on behalf of the bottling company.

Woodruff was impressed, and he eventually hired John Sibley to be associate general counsel of Coca-Cola. In 1935, John Sibley became general counsel; he left in 1946 to become chairman of the board of trustees of Trust Company of Georgia, a precursor to today’s SunTrust.

Later, John Sibley led the Sibley Commission, which was charged with helping navigate the state of Georgia through the school desegregation era.