Behavior: Anonymous Ally

The more money he made in the 1920s bull market, the more Wall Street Analyst William Griffith Wilson hit the bottle. "Men of genius," he assured his worried wife, "conceive their best projects when drunk." He was right, though hardly in the sense he meant. When Wilson died last week at 75, he left one of the finest projects that a drunk has ever conceived. He was the famous "Bill W.," who sobered up and in 1935 co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous.

A gawky Vermonter, Wilson grew up with a crushing sense of inferiority. Alcoholism ran...

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