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Alcoholics Anonymous was Founded in 1935

Getty Images, photo by Jeff J. Mitchell

On July 10, 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in Akron, Ohio by two recovering alcoholics. One was Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith from Ohio and the other was New York City stockbroker William Griffith Wilson. They both were recovering from alcoholism and began the 12-step program which has helped millions over the years.

Dr. Bob and Bill W., as they were known, met in Akron, Ohio during an unplanned visit. Bill W. had a stockbrokers’ meeting and proxy fight in Ohio that didn’t turn out in his favor, depressed and in a strange town he was headed to the bar in the Mayflower Hotel. Realizing he was going in the wrong direction seeking a drink he decided to seek out another alcoholic and he met Dr. Bob and the rest is history.

They started helping alcoholics; one at a time, in Dr. Bob’s room and within four years had helped 100 alcoholics get sober. After publishing the group’s text book in 1939, the development of A.A. was rapid.

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