Atlanta businessman and philanthropist Charles Loudermilk dies at 95

Robert C. Loudermilk, Jr., President and Chief Operating Officer of Aaron Rents, Inc. (left) poses with his father, R. Charles Loudermilk, Sr., Chairman of the Board, CEO and Founder of Aaron Rents, Inc. during the Company's recent Annual Managers' Meeting held in New Orleans. The meeting culminated with a celebration of the senior Loudermilk's 50 years at the helm of the company he founded in 1955. (Photo courtesy of Aaron's Rents, Inc.)

Work hard. Dream big. That was the guiding philosophy of Atlanta’s Charlie Loudermilk.

The 95-year-old business mogul and philanthropist died Wednesday from a stroke.

Robert Charles Loudermilk Sr. had business in his blood. He started off making money by selling cold Coca-Cola to passing cars headed to the movies.

After high school, it was the Navy, then Georgia Tech and the University of North Carolina.

He worked with his mom in the family restaurant and saved up a few hundred bucks to buy folding chairs. You could rent one — a dime a day.

That hustle became a multi-billion dollar corporation — Aaron Rents, Inc., a lease-to-own retailer.

Loudermilk was generous to Atlanta over the years with the money he made — donating tens of millions of dollars to better the community.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens praised Loudermilk’s devotion to “ensuring Atlanta is a prosperous, unified and forward-thinking community.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.