Here is Bill W., the man everybody knew and nobody knew. Here too, inextricably entwined with his life, is the dramatic story of the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, its early struggles and amazing growth. Bill's character was complex and contradictory. Although we always tried to place him on a pedestal, he strove for genuine humility, declining honors and stressing the spiritual value of anonymity. The cofounder of A.A., he was never a member of A.A., because we never allowed him to be. Ego-driven, he nevertheless always gave credit to others: to Ebby, to Dr. Bob, to Lois, as appropriate. A charismatic leader, he eschewed power and 'was willing to let go of us before we were willing to let go of him' (in Dr. Jack Norris' words). He has been hailed as one of the most significant figures of the 20th century; yet a nonalcoholic typist for the manuscript of this book commented, 'Isn't it too had he never did anything with his life!' In these pages is the full and rounded story of a remarkable life: The boy growing up in Vermont, always striving to he Number One. The Army officer serving 'over there' in World War I. Bill's romance and marriage with Lois. The fair-haired boy of Wall Street plummeting to rum-soaked despair. Ebby T. and Dr. Silkworth, Bill's spiritual experience, and his meeting with Dr. Bob. And of special significance to the A.A. reader, Bill's role in Alcoholics Anonymous. In preparation over five years, this is the definitive biography of Bill W. Every word is documented, every source checked.