BILL W - One of the Hundred

S P E C I A L   I S S U E

THE 100 MOST IMPORTANT AMERICANS OF THE CENTURY

BILL W.

FOR A DISEASE OF THE BODY, A TREATMENT OF THE SOUL

"Men of genius conceive their best projects when drunk," he once told his anxious wife. But William Griffin Wilson’s best idea came to him six months into a hard-won sobriety, when the Wall Street analyst kept himself from "slipping" back into alcoholism by confiding in a fellow Vermonter who was fighting the same battle.

From this simple encounter in 1935 – two drunks confessing themselves "powerless over alcohol" but resolving to stay dry one day at a time – the organization known as Alcoholics Anonymous was launched. And in the wake of its success came a flotilla of self-supporting self-help groups intended to combat gambling, drug using, overeating and personal demons of all kind.

(Article has photo of Bill in kitchen at Stepping Stones making coffee)

Source: Life©, Fall, 1990


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