Harry B., New York.
(OM, p. 252 in 1st edition.)
His date of sobriety was probably June 1938. It is said that he sued to get the money he had loaned A.A. to get the Big Book published refunded.
Harry was probably an accountant. He is believed to be “Fred, a partner in a well known accounting firm” whose story is told on pages 39 through 43 of the Big Book.
He was happily married with fine children, sufficient income to indulge his whims and future financial security. He was known as a conservative, sound businessman. To all appearances he was a stable, well-balanced individual, with an attractive personality who made friends easily.
However, he missed going to his office several times because of drinking, and when he failed in efforts to stop on his own, had to be hospitalized—a blow to his ego. At the hospital a doctor told him about a group of men staying sober, and he reluctantly consented to have one of them call on him, only to be polite to the doctor. He refused help from the man who called on him, but within sixty days, after leaving the hospital the second time, he was pounding at his door, willing to do anything to conquer the vicious thing that had conquered him.
He soon learned that not only had his drinking problem been relieved, but quite as important was the discovery that spiritual principles would solve all his problems.
While his old way of living was by no means a bad one, he would not go back to it he would not go back to it even if he could. His worst days in the fellowship were better than his best days when he was drinking.
His story is the shortest in the 1st edition. He had only one point he wanted to make. Even a man with everything money can buy, a man with tremendous pride and will power to function in all ordinary circumstances, could become an alcoholic and find himself as hopeless and helpless as the man who has a multitude of worries and troubles. Doctor Earl M. (“Physician Heal Thyself”) described this as “the skid row of success,” p. 345, 3rd edition.
Harry served on the first board of trustees of the Alcoholic Foundation, replacing Bill R., who got drunk. Soon Harry was drunk, too.