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Henry (Hank) P., New Jersey.
and 1st edition, p. 194.)
was the first man Bill W. was successful in sobering up
after returning from his famous trip to Akron where he
met Dr. Bob. Thus Hank was A.A. #2 in New York prior to
resuming drinking about four years later. His original
date of sobriety was either October or November 1935.
was a salesman, an agnostic, and a former Standard Oil
of New Jersey executive, who had lost his job because
of drinking. He wound up at Towns Hospital, where Bill
found him in the fall of 1935. The first mention of Hank
in the Big Book is on page xxix of The Doctor's Opinion.
He is believed to be the man Dr. Silkworth described who
seemed to be a case of pathological mental deterioration.
(Hank later became very paranoid and Dr. Silkworth warned
Bill he might become dangerous.)
Bill and Lois lost their home on Clinton Street, Brooklyn,
it was to Hank P.'s home in New Jersey that they moved
for a short time.
and Jim B. ("The Vicious Cycle"), lead the fight against
too much talk of God in the 12 steps, which resulted in
the compromise "God as we understood Him."
had a small business, Honor Dealers, in Newark, NJ. It
is the little company mentioned on page 149. According
to one source, he had conceived it as a way of getting
back at Standard Oil, which had fired him. Bill W. and
Jim B. worked there for a time and Bill dictated most
of the Big Book to Ruth Hock in this office.
Hock said the Big Book would not have been written without
Bill, and it would not have been published without Hank.
And Hank wrote, except for the opening paragraph, the
chapter "To Employers."
Hank became very hostile toward Bill. Problems developed
between them over the way Hank was setting up Works Publishing
Co., as a for profit corporation, with himself as President.
As a result of the feedback from group members, Bill listed
himself as the sole author of the Big Book as a means
of counter-balancing this.
were other problems over money, and over Ruth Hock. Hank
wanted to divorce his wife, Kathleen, and marry Ruth,
and when Ruth decided to go with Bill when he moved the
A.A. office out of Honor Dealers, Hank was furious. Bill
paid him $200 for the office furniture (which he claimed
he still owned, but which had been purchased from him
earlier), in exchange for Hank turning over his stock
in Works Publishing, as all the others had done. Hank
then went to Cleveland to try to start problems for Bill
one knows exactly when Hank had started drinking again,
but in the diary Lois W. kept there are various September
1939 entries that mention that Hank was drunk. He did
get back on the program for a short time at some later
date but it didn't last.
A.A. owes Hank a debt of gratitude for his many contributions
during his all too short period of sobriety.
died after a long illness at Glenwood Sanitarium in Trenton,
New Jersey, on January 18, 1954, at the age of fifty-seven.
Lois W. ascribed his death to drinking. Funeral services
were held Thursday, January 22 at Blackwell Memorial Home.
Rev. A. Kenneth Magner of the First Presbyterian Church
performed the service.
the time of his death he and his wife, Kathleen Nixon
P. (whom he had remarried after two failed marriages)
were living at Washington-Crossing Road, Pennington, New
Jersey. One son, Henry G. P., Jr., was living in Madeira
Beach, Florida. A second son Robert S. P., was living
thanks to Ron R., of Kentucky, for information concerning
Hank's death and burial.