The American Public Health Association presented the Lasker Award to Alcoholics Anonymous “in recognition of its unique and highly successful approach” to an “age-old public health and social problem, alcoholism.”
Started in 1946, these annual awards have been presented to individuals and groups which have made major contributions to public health efforts. This highly prestigious award is often compared to the Nobel Prize, and many of its laureates have received both honors.
The presentation was made in San Francisco at the Opera House on October 30, 1951. Mr. Bernard Smith (nonalcoholic), former chairman of the Board of the Alcoholic Foundation (now the General Service Board), accepted the award on behalf of Alcoholics Anonymous.