Georgia Pacific was founded in 1927 in Augusta, Georgia, by Owen R. Cheatham as the Georgia Hardwood Lumber Company, a wholesaler of hardwood lumber.
The company was the largest supplier of lumber to the U.S. armed forces during World War II and was awarded the Army-Navy "E" for outstanding service in the war effort.
In 1948, the company name was changed to the Georgia-Pacific Plywood & Lumber Company, as plywood mills were added in Olympia, Washington, and Springfield, Oregon.
The company was first listed on New York Stock Exchange in 1949. That same year GP acquired a hardwood plywood plant at Savannah, Georgia. With the acquisition, company sales reached $37 million.
In 1953 the company moved headquarters from Augusta, to Olympia (which were moved just one year later to Portland, Oregon). In 1982, the company moved their headquarters from Portland back to Atlanta.
In 1990, GP merged with the Great Northern Nekoosa Corporation, adding 55 paper mills and paperboard converting plants, 83 paper distribution centers, one plywood plant and two sawmills. Sales reached $12.7 billion.