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Robert Holbrook Smith (August 8, 1879 – November 16, 1950) was an American physician and surgeon who co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous with Bill Wilson, more commonly known as Bill W. He was also known as Dr. Bob.[1]

He was born in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, where he was raised, to Susan A. Holbrook and Walter Perrin Smith.[2] After graduation from Dartmouth College in 1902, he completed medical school at the University of Michigan. Smith was married to Anne Ripley Smith, who played a vital role in the development of the 12 steps of AA. Smith co-founded the recovery movement Alcoholics Anonymous with Bill Wilson, in 1935 in Akron, Ohio.

Smith was called the "Prince of Twelfth Steppers" by Wilson because he voluntarily helped more than 5000 alcoholics. In addition, it was in his home that the basic ideas of A.A. were developed.

Many A.A. ideas developed initially in an offshoot of the then-popular Oxford Group, which was a Christian movement. Smith said that A.A.'s basic ideas came from their study of the Bible; the Steps, in essence meant "love and service."

Smith is a co-founder of A.A. because A.A. is based on the idea of one alcoholic helping another to recover from alcoholism. Although Bill Wilson had helped other alcoholics with little or no success, A.A. is said to have begun June 10, 1935. This was the day "Dr. Bob" took his last bottle of beer, under the watch of Bill Wilson, to steady his hands for surgery. By applying the spiritual solution of the 12 Steps and working with other alcoholics, Smith was able to stay sober from June 10, 1935, until his death in 1950 from colon cancer.

Contents

Media

  • Dr. Bob and the Good Oldtimers, New York: Alcoholics Anonymous, 1980, ISBN 0-916856-07-0, LCCN 80-65962, LC HV5278.D62 1980.

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ The Traditions of AA recommend that AA members maintain their anonymity at the level of media, in keeping with the spirit of placing "principles before personalities." Members typically refer to themselves publicly, if at all, by first name and last initial only. After the 1971 death of AA co-founder Bill W. and publication of his full name in obituaries, the AA General Service Conference advised that "AA members generally think it unwise to break the anonymity of a member even after his death, but in each situation the final decision must rest with the family.” (See http://aa.org/pdf/products/p-47_understandinganonymity1.pdf for further information.) This was the case with "Dr. Bob," who died shortly after the formal adoption of the Twelve Traditions at AA's First International Convention in 1950.
  2. ^ Ancestry of "Dr. Bob S."

External links

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