Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in 1935 by a stockbroker named Bill, and a surgeon Dr. Bob who were both hopeless alcoholics. The two had initially both belonged to the Oxford Group, a nonalcoholic fellowship headed by an Episcopal clergyman, Dr. Samuel Shoemaker. Dr. Shoemaker and an old friend Ebby together helped Bill to get sober. Bill was also helped by working with other alcoholics. Dr. Bob however did not have the same initial success, but when he finally met Bill, he told him what he had learned from Dr. Silkworth; that alcoholism was a malady of mind, emotions and body (Alcoholics Anonymous). Dr. Bob responded well to these ides introduced by Bill, he soon got sober, and never drank again.
The two men began work with other alcoholics at the City Hospital in Akron, Ohio, and one patient became sober right away. Together these men made up the first group of A.A., and shortly thereafter groups formed in several different locations.
Early in 1939, the Fellowship published its basic textbook, Alcoholics Anonymous. The text, written by Bill, explained A.A.'s philosophy and methods, the core of which was the now well-known Twelve Steps of recovery. The book was also reinforced by case histories of some thirty recovered members. From this point, A.A.'s development was rapid (Alcoholics Anonymous).
The heart of Alcoholics Anonymous is in The Twelve Steps, which is a program of personal recovery. New members do not have to accept or follow them as a whole until they are ready and willing. It takes time for an individual to come to terms with their problem, and that by going to meetings and listening to A.A. members they too may begin to heal. The one prerequisite for new members is that they must stop drinking. Only then, can a new life, an alcohol-free life can begin. The importance of anonymity is also stressed as part of the Fellowship. A persons identity is not disclosed to outsiders.