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First Edition
Big Book

First Edition Big Book

These are the personal stories that can be found in the back of the book titled, "Alcoholics Anonymous"
The First Edition, Tenth Printing, August, 1946


ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS® and A.A.® are registered
trademarks of A.A.World Services, Inc.

Acknowledgments and credits for the story author brief Biographies accessed from this page.
(The 'Info' & 'Bio' icons provides additional information about the story author)

Additional resources about the story authors
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    left line of wordPersonal Storiesright line of word  
Click here for more resources on Dr. Bob. Robert Holbrook S., M.D., of Akron, Ohio. 'A co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous'. The birth of our Society dates from his first day of permanent sobriety, June 10, 1935. To 1950, the year of his death, he carried the A.A. message to more than 5,000 alcoholic men and women.   The Doctor's Nightmare
Click here for more resources on Hank P. (Hank) Henry P. -New Jersey. Hank was the first man Bill W. was successful in sobering up after returning from his famous trip to Akron where he met Dr. Bob.   The Unbeliever
Click here for more resources on Joe D. Joe D. -Cleveland, Ohio. 'Beer and wine were not the answer.' Joe's date of sobriety was April 1936. He was 12th stepped by Dr. Bob.   The European Drinker
Click here for more resources on Florence R. Florence R. -New York City. Florence was the first woman to get sober in A.A., even for a short time. She came to A.A. in New York in March of 1937. She had several slips, but was sober over a year when she wrote her story for the Big Book.   A Feminine Victory
Click here for more resources on Fitz M. John Henry Fitzhugh (Fitz) M. -Cumberstone, Maryland. 'Pioneer A.A., minister's son, and southern farmer, he asked, 'Who am I to say there is no God?'' Fitz' date of sobriety was October 1935. He was Bill's second or third success at 12th stepping after he returned from Akron in 1935.   Our Southern Friend
Click here for more resources on Bill R. William R. -New Jersey. Bill R. was born in 1900. According to his story in the Big Book, he first got sober in February 1937. When the Alcoholic Foundation was established in the spring of 1938, he was appointed as a trustee.   A Business Man's Recovery
Click here for more resources on Harry B. Harry B. -New York. His date of sobriety was probably June 1938. Harry was probably an accountant. He is believed to be 'Fred, a partner in a well known accounting firm' whose story is told on pages 39 through 43 of the Big Book.   A Different Slant
Click here for more resources on Jim S. Jim S. -Akron, Ohio. 'This newsman covered life from top to bottom, but he ended up, safely enough, in the middle.' Jim's date of sobriety was July 1937. He was described as tall and skinny, and a real lone wolf.   Traveler, Editor, Scholar
Click here for more resources on Walter B. Walter B. -Cleveland, Ohio. Walter first joined A.A. in September 1935. He was known as a notorious alcoholic and a regular consumer of paregoric, an over-the-counter opiate then easily available to the general public.   The Back-Slider
Click here for more resources on Clarence S. Clarence S. -Cleveland, Ohio.  'An originator of Cleveland's Group No. 3, this one fought Prohibition in vain.' Clarence had his last drink on February 11, 1938, according to the article he wrote for the A.A. Grapevine November 1968 issue. Fifteen months later he organized the first Cleveland group.   Home Brewmeister
Click here for more resources on Ernie G. Ernie G. -Akron, Ohio. Ernie first got sober in August 1935, probably the first after Bill D. ('A.A. Number 3'), while Bill W. was still staying with Dr. Bob & Anne S. in Akron. He married Dr. Bob's daughter, Sue.   The Seventh Month Slip
Click here for more resources on Tom L. Tom L. -Akron, Ohio. Tom's first date of sobriety probably was November 1935. (He slipped in December 1937.) His wife, Maybelle, approached Dr. Bob for help.   My Wife and I
Click here for more resources on Bill V. H. William (Bill) V. H. -Akron or Kent, Ohio. Bill's sobriety date is uncertain. He joined the Fellowship in 1937, and slipped, but was known to be active in the program by September 1937.   A Ward of the Probate Court
Click here more resources on Charlie S. Charlie S. -Akron, Ohio. Charlie probably came to A.A. in May of 1937.   Riding the Rods
*Click here for more resources on Bob O. Bob O. -Richfield, Ohio. Bob entered the program in December of 1936, but after six months had a slip. He stopped drinking again in May 1937.   The Salesman
Click here for more resources on Wally G. Wallace (Wally) G. - Akron, Ohio. Probably Wally first entered A.A. in May of 1937, but one source says October 1938. But after several years he slipped and had a hard time getting back.   Fired Again
Click here for more resources on Archie T. Archie T. -Grosse Point, Michigan. 'He spent eighteen years in running away; and then found he didn't have to run. So he started A.A. in Detroit.' Archie's date of sobriety was November 1938.   The Fearful One
Click here for more resources on Paul S. Paul S. -Akron, Ohio. He had first met Dr. Bob much earlier. Dr. Bob formed the habit of stopping at his house for coffee after office hours on Tuesday and Thursdays. At first, his topic was honesty, and after several trips he suggested Paul stop kidding himself. Then the topic changed to faith - faith in God.   Truth Freed Me!

No further information about Harold S.
Harold S. -Brooklyn, New York. Harold was an early New York member. He probably stopped drinking in February of 1938, but slipped in June of that year. For a time during 1939 meetings were held in his home.   Smile with Me, At Me
Click here for more resources on Harry Z. Henry J. Z. -Akron, Ohio. Harry found sobriety in March of 1937, but he may have entered the fellowship as early a January 1937. At the time he wrote his story, he had not had a drink since.   A Close Shave
Click here for more resources on Norman H. Norman H. -Darien, Connecticut. Norman's date of sobriety is uncertain. One source says it was February 1938, another says June 1938.   Educated Agnostic
Click here for more resources on Ralph F. Ralph F. -Springfield, Massachusetts? Darien, Conn.?  Ralph had his last drink on June 6, 1938.  He also may have been the Ralph who worked in the pressroom at A.A.'s second International Convention in St. Louis in July of 1955.   Another Prodigal Story
Click here for more resources on Dick S. Dick S. -Akron, Ohio. 'Who is convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. But not this man.'  Dick's date of sobriety (according to his story in the 1st edition) was the first week of March 1937. In his revised story, which appears in the 2nd and 3rd editions, he cites February 1937.   The Car Smasher
Click here for more resources on Myron W. Myron W. -New York City. Myron sobered up in April of 1936. His is another story that could have been titled, 'Fired Again.' He was fired repeatedly, but often could find a still better job. During the Great Depression he was making $10,000 a year -- an enormous salary at that time.   Hindsight
Click here for more resources on Popsy. Horace R. (Popsy) M. -New York City.  Popsy entered A.A. in September of 1938.  He was described as a charming Virginia gentleman. His wife, Sandy, had been a nurse. They lived in a fashionable home on exclusive Sutton Place in Manhattan.   On His Way
Click here for more resources on Marie B. Marie B. -Cleveland, Ohio.  Marie, a non-alcoholic, was the wife of Walter Bray ('The Backslider'). Walter first joined A.A. in September 1935.  There is indication in the Akron archives that Marie may have written the first draft of "To Wives," which Bill W. then edited. But "Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers" and "Lois Remembers" both state that Bill W. wrote it.   An Alcoholic's Wife
Click here for more resources on Ray C. Ray C. -New York City.  Ray joined the fellowship in February 1938.  He began his story by quoting Herbert Spencer.  He said that the quotation is descriptive of the mental attitudes of many alcoholics when the subject of religion, as a cure, is first brought to their attention.   An Artist's Concept
Click here for more resources on Lloyd T. Lloyd T. -New York City.  Lloyd's date of sobriety is uncertain. One source says it was February of 1937, another says November 1937.  He had been sober nearly six and a half years when he wrote his story.   The Rolling Stone
  WHEN this book appeared in April 1939 there were approximately 100 A.A. members. Two thirds of them were at Akron, Ohio, or nearby communities in the northern part of that state. Most of the remainder were in or near New York City and a few others were scattered along the Atlantic Seaboard.   Now We Are Thousands
spacer New line Lone Endeavor right arrow and Why right arrow this story was removed.
spacer New line Personal Stories right arrow These are the Stories found in the back of the 2nd edition Big Book.
spacer New line The Audio Big Book right arrow Click on a Chapter and have it read to you.
spacer New line Chapters and Appendices
spacerThe Doctor's Opinion, Chapters 1 thru 11 and the Appendices

First Edition
Big Book
cofounders of Alcoholics Anoonymous, William Griffith Wilson (Bill W) and Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith, M.D. (Dr. Bob); 1st AA meeting ever, June 10th, 1935.
Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. has neither endorsed nor approved of Welcome to Silkworth.info. Nor is Welcome to Silkworth.info affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. or any service entity of AAWS, Inc. which includes The AA Grapevine, Inc. Alcoholics Anonymous®, the book, Alcoholics Anonymous®, The Big Book®, the book, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions® are registered trademarks of AAWS, Inc. The Grapevine®, and AA Grapevine® are registered trademarks of The AA Grapevine, Inc.
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