Florence R., New York City.
(OM, p. 217 in 1st edition.)
Florence was the first woman to get sober in A.A., even for a short time. She came to A.A. in New York in March of 1937. She had several slips, but was sober over a year when she wrote her story for the Big Book.
It must have been difficult for Florence being the only woman. She prayed for inspiration to tell her story in a manner that would give other women courage to seek the help that she had been given.
She was the ex-wife of a man Bill W. had known on Wall Street. She thought the cause of her drinking would be removed when she and her husband were divorced. But it was her ex-husband who took Lois W. to visit her at Bellevue. Bill and Lois got her out of Bellevue and she stayed in their home for a time. After she left their home she stayed with other members of the fellowship.
In part, due to Florence having been sober more than a year, “One Hundred Men” was discarded as the name for the Big Book.
She moved to Washington, D.C. and tried to help Fitz M. (“Our Southern Friend”), who after sobering up in New York started A.A. in Washington, D.C. She married an alcoholic she met there, who unfortunately did not get sober. Eventually Florence started drinking again and disappeared. Fitz M. found her in the morgue. She had committed suicide.
Despite her relapse and death from alcoholism, Florence helped pave the way for the many women who followed. She was in Washington by the time Marty M. (“Women Suffer Too”), the next woman to arrive in A.A. in New York, entered the program. Marty only met her once or twice, but her story in the Big Book no doubt encouraged Marty.