Alcoholics Anonymous Co-founder Bill Wilson
One of the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous was William Griffith Wilson, known as Bill Wilson or Bill W. He suffered from alcoholism and did not know how to overcome it. He heard through a friend of the evangelical Christian Oxford group who provided spiritual help for alcoholics. However, shortly after, he was hospitalized because of his hard-drinking.
At this point, he received treatment at the Belladonna Cure where he said he experiences a spiritual experience that was very intense. At this point, he stopped all drinking and got sober. He also decided that he wanted to help other alcoholics get sober. So he joined the Oxford group hoping to help other people overcome alcoholism. After some time, he had not helped anybody become sober, but it had helped him stay sober. He almost had a relapse but decided that because he wanted to help others, he needed to stay sober.
When in Akron, Ohio for a business trip, he managed to meet with Dr. Bob Smith, who was a member of the Oxford Group and still struggling with alcoholism. He gave him a speech on how alcoholism was a problem of the mind, the body, and the emotions. He also told him about his spiritual experience and how it helped him achieve sobriety. This speech got to Dr. Bob S., and he decided to also get sober. The two of them decided that they would help other people with the same problem.
In 1939, Bill Wilson published a book called Alcoholics Anonymous, commonly referred to as The Big Book, which really started the snowball effect of this fellowship. He continued to help people recover from alcoholism.
Towards the end of his life, he did not attend many AA meetings as he did not want to speak about the creating of Alcoholics Anonymous. He was a heavy smoker and died of pneumonia in 1971. He had stayed sober for 37 years and had created one of the biggest fellowships of recovering alcoholics in the world.