Alcoholics Anonymous began in 1935 in Akron, Ohio, in the United States, when a businessman from New York (Bill W.), who had managed to refrain from drinking for the first time after having tried on various occasions over several years, searched for another alcoholic with whom to share his experiences in an effort to get through a difficult period that he feared would lead to a relapse.
During the few months of his recently acquired sobriety, this alcoholic from New York had noticed that his desire to drink diminished when he was trying to help other "drunks" stay sober.
In Akron, he was put in contact with a doctor from the same city (Dr. Bob S.), who had problems with drink. Working together, the businessman and the doctor discovered that their capacity to keep sober had a lot to do with the help and encouragement they were able to give other alcoholics and with their own sharing of experiences, which then guided others.
In 1939, with the publication of the book Alcoholics Anonymous, which gave the fellowship its name, and with the help of non-alcoholic friends, A.A. began to draw attention with its program and spread quickly, both in the United States and abroad.
Currently, the fellowship operates in most countries in the world, through over 115,000 local groups.