Alcoholism’s Reach: An Intriguing AA History Factoid

Andy Crooks writing as Andy C
2 min readMay 16, 2024

Alcoholism touches so many lives. It is rare to find someone with no experience of alcoholism or its consequences.

I saw this truth again in a passing historical factoid about AA. We all remember the story of John Rockefeller dispatching Frank Amos to investigate AA on his behalf. We can see why John Rockefeller was interested in a possible solution for alcoholism; he had a long record of championing prohibition and the evils of alcohol. But Frank Amos, why would this busy New York advertising executive spend three weeks meeting alcoholics around New York and travel to Akron for another week to talk with Dr. Bob and the Akron AAs? Maybe he wanted to curry favour with John Rockefeller, but really, to take this much time from his schedule when he could have sent an employee? What was going on?

I read a book last week (God, The Best Seller). The author touched on early AA and wrote about Rockefeller and Frank Amos. He mentioned in passing that Frank Amos had two brothers who suffered from alcoholism.

When I saw that I understood why Amos would take all that time and expense to investigate AA, he had watched two brothers suffer from alcoholism. That explained his willingness to pursue this possibility of a cure. Our disease had touched him.

[Origin of photo is unknown. Resolution enhanced with ARC AI technology]

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Andy Crooks writing as Andy C

For Andy C, not drinking was the first spiritual awakening. He’s been blessed with subsequent spiritual awakenings as the results of the 12 steps.