Friday, Jul. 02, 2010

The Rockefeller Connection

One of the group's biggest bursts of publicity came in 1940, when John D. Rockefeller Jr., a renowned businessman and philanthropist, gave a dinner for New York A-listers to publicize the work AA was doing. According to Not-God, a history of the group written by Ernest Kurtz, co-founder Wilson had been struggling to find wealthy donors to support the program; drunks weren't seen as prize charity investments. Through a network of friends and in-laws, word of Wilson's frustration got to the man who managed Rockefeller's charities and eventually to Rockefeller himself. Although Rockefeller's involvement didn't bring the group the floods of cash it had hoped for, his endorsement gave it some much-needed recognition. Many of Rockefeller's friends stayed on as board members of what was then called the Alcoholic Foundation and now serves as the group's general service board.