When Gatsby is 17, he meets Dan Cody, an enormously wealthy yacht owner who is impressed by Gatsby's initiative and willingness to work. Cody takes Gatsby onboard his yacht where the young man learns how wealthy people live and behave. This vision of a life he had never seen before inspires him to achieve similar success.
A man of fifty, Cody made his money in the silver fields (and mining other metals). He represents the pioneer spirit, but he is unfortunately a flawed role model for Gatsby because Cody drinks too much. As a result, Gatsby drinks little as an adult.