The co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous with Dr. William Silkworth.
He was a promising Wall Street banker but his alcoholism cost him his job and most of his money, and he found the series of practical steps suggested by Silkworth curbed his addiction.
He and another formerly struggling alcoholic, Dr. Bob Smith, formed a national program that treated addiction with practical solutions, moving away from past religious-oriented help.
His wife Lois Burnham (Lois W.) founded Al-Anon, a group of friends and supporters of recovering alcoholics.
He joined luminaries like Mahatma Gandhi and Franklin D. Roosevelt as one of the Time 100: Most Important People of The Century.