On the anniversary of the passing of Alcoholics Anonymous cofounder Dr. Bob Smith, we take the time to remember in gratitude, the life of service to alcoholics that Dr. Bob lived. The best way to put into words is by using this excerpt from Bill Wilson in the January 1951 Grapevine article “A Tribute to Dr. Bob”
Bill W’s Tribute to Dr. Bob:
“How we were spared from professionalism, wealth, and extensive property management; how we finally came up with the book Alcoholics Anonymous is a story by itself. But in this critical period it was Dr. Bob’s prudent counsel which so often restrained us from rash ventures that might have retarded us for years, perhaps ruined us for good. Nor can we ever forget the devotion of Dr. Bob and Jim S.(who passed away last summer) as they gathered stories for the AA Book, three-fifths of them coming from Akron alone. Dr. Bob’s special fortitude and wisdom were prime factors in that time so much characterized by doubt, and finally by grave decision.
How much we may rejoice that Anne and Dr. Bob lived to see the lamp lit at Akron carried into every corner of the earth; that they doubtless realized millions might someday pass under the ever-widening arch whose keystone they so gallantly helped carve. Yet, being so humble as they were, I’m sure they never quite guessed what a heritage they left us, nor how beautifully their appointed task has been completed. All they needed to do was finished. It was even reserved for Dr. Bob to see AA come of age as, for the last time, he spoke to 7000 of us at Cleveland, July, 1950.”
-“A Tribute to Dr. Bob” written by Bill Wilson
Here is Dr. Bob’s Farewell Address at the 1950 International Convention: