William Griffith Wilson: Co-Founder of Alcoholic Anonymous

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William Griffith Wilson, also known as Bill Wilson, or Bill W. was born on November 26, 1895 in Dorset, Vermont. He was brought into the world at the home and business of his parents Emily and Gilman Wilson, The Mount Aeolus Inn and Tavern. As Bill grew up into a boy his parents marriage fell apart and had abandoned him only to be raised by his grandparents. Bill’s father never returned home after a business trip, and his mother went abroad to study osteopathic medicine. (“Bill Wilson”, 2012). In his early teens Bill showed great determination in everything he did. For instance, there was a time he spent months just building a wooden boomerang. He eventually became his football teams captain, and was the principal violinist in his school orchestra. When Bill was seventeen, Bertha Bramford had came into his life and she became his first love. Here is where Bill started to suffer from severe depression after the death of Bertha due to complications during a surgery. (Cheever, 2004). Life begins for this hero, Bill.

In the summer of 1913, while he was sailing on Vermont’s Emerald Lake, he met Lois Burnham. Bill was in the military by this time. He and Lois were secretly engaged two years later in 1915. Not feeling too depressed after meeting Lois, Bill and Lois were happy together. They eventually married on January 24, 1918 right before Bill had left for World War I. (“Bill Wilson”, 2012). Bill W. served as a Second Lieutenant in the Coast Artillery. Bill had finally, in the military, experienced his “first drink”. According to Alcoholics Anonymous (2001), Bill stated, “ I had found the elixir of life.” This first drink led to the second and all the drinks in the years to come for Bill, as he began drinking heavily and excessively. After the war, he went to live with Lois in New York City, and started to trade stocks, after getting too drunk to pick up his diploma from law school. He had great success with the stock market at first, though his drinking got...
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