2016 Reprint of 1939 Edition. Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, who developed the organization's twelve-step program. In 1939, they published this volume, which sets forth the cornerstone concepts of recovery and relates stories of those who have overcome alcoholism. Informally known as "The Big Book," it has gone through numerous editions, and as a lifeline to millions worldwide, it is the most widely used resource for recovering alcoholics. Later editions added more personal stories. Our edition reprints the first edition of 1939, which got the enterprise started.