Wilson, (William Griffith) “Bill W.”(1895–1971) founder of Alcoholics Anonymous; born in East Dorset, Vt. Alcoholism ran in his family and he suffered from a strong sense of inferiority and separation from other people. He was an artillery officer in World War I and a successful stockbroker during the 1920s, but he found his only true relief in alcohol. He experienced a spiritual recovery from alcoholism in 1934 and founded—with Dr. Robert H. Smith—Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935. Several of the premises and procedures of "AA"—regular meetings of people from all walks of life, identifying oneself only by a first name, full confession of one's weakness and misdeeds, the "12-step program" towards recovery—have been subsequently adopted by many other recovery programs such as Gamblers Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous. Wilson himself remained known only as "Bill W." until later years when the program began to achieve widespread recognition.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
his Doppelganger irrupts at occasions of duplicity. [Am. Lit.: “William Wilson” in Portable Poe, 57–82]
his Doppelganger ultimately kills him. [Am. Lit.: “William Wilson” in Portable Poe, 57–82]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.