September 6, 1905 Atlanta Life Insurance Company was founded by Alonzo F. Herndon, a prosperous black barber and entrepreneur. Atlanta Life started as a small insurance association with a capital investment of $5,000 and offered one contract, an industrial health and accident policy which paid a small sum upon the death of a policyholder. By 1909, the company had more than 23,000 policyholders and in 1916 the firm became a stockholder organization. Herndon died in 1927 and was succeeded as president by his son Norris. By the time of his retirement in 1973, the company had $84.5 million in assets and more than $346 million in insurance in force. In 2001, the company adopted a new direction as a financial services organization and a new name, the Atlanta Life Financial Group. Today, it has $20 billion of life insurance in force, $202 million in assets, and serves 2 million customers.