Who Was Doctor Bob In AA?

Posted by John Gall on

Doctor Bob (Robert Holbrook Smith, 1879-1950) was one of the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), along with Bill Wilson (Bill W.). He is considered one of the key figures in the development and early history of AA.

Doctor Bob was a physician from Akron, Ohio and he struggled with alcoholism for many years. He had tried various methods to stop drinking, including institutionalization and the then-popular "belladonna cure" (a treatment that involved injecting large amounts of the drug belladonna), but nothing seemed to work.

In 1935, he met Bill Wilson, who was also an alcoholic and had recently had a transformative experience that he believed had led to his own recovery. Together, they began working with other alcoholics in Akron, using the principles and methods that had helped Bill achieve sobriety.

Doctor Bob played a crucial role in the early development of AA, helping to establish the first AA group in Akron and working with Bill to create the 12 Steps program. He also helped to spread the AA message to other parts of the United States and was instrumental in the establishment of the first AA groups outside of Akron.

Doctor Bob Medallion

Doctor Bob himself achieved long-term sobriety and remained active in AA until his death in 1950. He is remembered as a compassionate and dedicated AA member, who devoted his life to helping others overcome alcoholism. The Akron group of AA, which he co-founded, still exists today and is the longest continuously-meeting AA group in the world.

Doctor Bob is still considered a strong figure in the recovery community and his legacy continues in the many lives he has touched through the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.

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