Founders


Bill W.'s Last Message


William G. 'Bill' Wilson
b. November 26, 1895. d. January 24, 1971
Co-Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous

My dear friends,

Recently an A.A. member sent me an unusual greeting which I would like to extend to you He told me it was an ancient Arabian salutation. Perhaps we have no Arabic groups, but it still seems a fitting expression of how I feel for each of you. It says, "I salute you and thank you for your life."
My thoughts are much occupied these days with gratitude to our Fellowship and for the myriad blessings bestowed upon us by God's Grace.
If I were asked which of these blessings I felt was most responsible for our growth as a fellowship and most vital to our continuity, I would say, the "Concept of Anonymity."
Anonymity has two attributes essential to our individual and collective survival; the spiritual and the practical.
On the spiritual level, anonymity demands the greatest discipline of which we are capable; on the practical level, anonymity has brought protection for the newcomer, respect and support of the world outside, and security from those of us who would use A.A. for sick and selfish purposes.
A.A. must and will continue to change with the passing years. We cannot, nor should we turn back the clock. However, I deeply believe that the principle of anonymity must remain our primary and enduring safeguard. As long as we accept our sobriety in our traditional spirit of anonymity we will continue to receive God's Grace.
And so -- once more, I salute you in that spirit and again I thank you for your lives.
May God bless us all now, and forever.









Dr. Bob's Last Message


Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith
August 8, 1879 - November 16, 1950
Co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous

My good friends in AA and of AA. I feel I would be very remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to welcome you here to Cleveland not only to this meeting but those that have already transpired. I hope very much that the presence of so many people and the words that you have heard will prove an inspiration to you - not only to you, but
 may you be able to impart that inspiration to the boys and girls back home who were not fortunate enough to be able to come. In other words, we hope that your visit here has been both enjoyable and profitable.

I get a big thrill out of looking over a vast sea of faces like this with a feeling that possibly some small thing that I did a number of years ago, played an infinitely small part in making this meeting possible. I also get quite a thrill when I think that we all had the same problem. We all did the same things. We all get the same results in proportion to our zeal and enthusiasm and stick-to-itiveness. If you will pardon the injection of a personal note at this time, let me say that I have been in bed five of the last seven months and my strength hasn't returned as I would like, so my remarks of necessity will be very brief.

But there are two or three things that flashed into my mind on which it would be fitting to lay a little emphasis; one is the simplicity of our Program. Let's not louse it all up with Freudian complexes and things that are interesting to the scientific mind, but have very little to do with our actual AA work. Our 12 Steps, when simmered down to the last, resolve themselves into the words love and service. We understand what love is and we understand what service is. So let's bear those two things in mind.

Let us also remember to guard that erring member - the tongue, and if we must use it, let's use it with kindness and consideration and tolerance.

And one more thing; none of us would be here today if somebody hadn't taken time to explain things to us, to give us a little pat on the back, to take us to a meeting or two, to have done numerous little kind and thoughtful acts in our behalf. So let us never get the degree of smug complacency so that we're not willing to extend or attempt to, that help which has been so beneficial to us, to our less fortunate brothers.
Thank you very much.

Rx for Recovery





Man on the Bed



The painting, "The Man on the Bed," was showcased in the year 1955 as part of the December issue of the Grapevine. The picture depicts the first three of AA's members being Bill W., Dr. Bob, and Bill D - the Man on the bed.