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Bill Wilson, Founder Of AA: Who Is He?

For exactly 85 years, alcoholics worldwide have found a haven in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). For every time an alcoholic finds understanding, love, and a community of helpers, they have Bill Wilson, founder of AA, to thank. 

Long before Bill Wilson founded Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholics had a hard time finding their way to sobriety. 

To make matters worse, the only help they got was through mental institutions or jail until they got sober. And if they get sober, they’ll be released back to their lives to continue drinking. This created a damaging cycle for anyone struggling with alcoholism, until AA was established

Today, AA and other similar communities have helped millions of people overcome alcohol addiction – all thanks to Bill Wilson.

Who Is the Founder of AA?

AA is the brainchild of Bill Wilson. The idea of alcoholics anonymous was created on a night when Bill was tempted to take alcohol. Bill had been sober for quite a while before that night. 

However, a failed business meeting triggered a deep craving for alcohol. At that moment, Bill realized that the only way to surmount his craving was to help others recover from their struggle with alcoholism. 

He began searching for people until he reached an alcoholic and Oxford Group member, Dr. Bob Smith. 

Bob Smith and Bill had conversations about how a spiritual experience saved Bill from alcoholism. After that conversation, Bob sought a spiritual experience and later became sober. 

After Bob’s sobriety, he and Bill went on to help other alcoholics in the Oxford Group in Akron and New York. 

In 1950, after helping about 100 alcoholics recover, Wilson authored a book called Alcoholics Anonymous, and the program was founded. 

The book contains the twelve steps that Wilson and Bob had been using to reform alcoholics and set them on a life of sobriety. After the book was published, the program soon took on the title of the book. 

As the program became more popular, he was known as Bill Wilson, founder of AA.

About Bills Life

Bill was born on November 2nd, 1895, in East Dorset, Vermont. His childhood wasn’t a particularly happy one. His parents were not involved in his life as his maternal grandparents raised him. 

Wilson was commissioned as an artillery officer in 1916. At one of the several dinners that included other officers, Wilson had his first of many drinks to come. He remarked feeling bolder and better after drinking. Over time, he became addicted to alcohol and would spend many years trying without success to kick the habit. 

Typical of addictions, Wilson’s addiction affected important parts of his life. He was unable to graduate from law school because he was too drunk to get his diploma. His addiction to alcohol also affected his career as a stock speculator. 

In 1933, Wilson was admitted four times for alcoholism. In 1934, a former drinking buddy now sober with the help of the Christian Oxford Group visited Wilson. He told Wilson of a spiritual experience that cured him of his alcoholism. 

Wilson later had the same experience and became sober. 

Is AA Still Popular Today?

After Wilson, founder of AA, consolidated the 12 steps published in his first book, AA only grew from strength to strength. 

Today, there are more than 100,000 registered groups and over 2 million members. Wilson’s legacy will continue to grow, providing alcoholics an aftercare community to find help and support after rehab

Find Recovery at Laguna View Detox

At Laguna View Detox, we utilize AA groups as a part of our addiction therapy for our clients. Our six bed facility is located in beautiful Laguna Beach, California. We offer detoxification and inpatient addiction treatment. After our clients have completed our program, we make sure to set them up with comprehensive aftercare plans to help ensure lasting recovery. Contact us today to learn more about us! 

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