Anne Smith (March 21, 1881 - June 1, 1949)

Ohio death certificate and Akron Beacon
newspaper obituary

There has been some confusion in Alcoholics Anonymous histories about Anne Smith's date of birth. But we can now state positively that it was March 21, 1881, NOT March 3.

George Bailey has done some excellent detective work, for which we all owe him a debt of thanks. He consulted with Jane Gramlich, the Special Collections Librarian at the Akron-Summit County Public Library in Akron, who provided these copies of Anne Smith’s State of Ohio death certificate, available online through, and her obituary, which appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal on June 1, 1949 on page 1 (she had died in the morning and the paper was delivered in the evening). Both these sources state Anne's date of birth as March 21, 1881.

Anne Smith, Mother of A.A., state of Ohio death certificate

Anne Ripley Smith, obituary in the Akron Beacon Journal, early Alcoholics Anonymous history

June 1950 Grapevine article on Anne Smith
also gives March 21, 1881 - June 1, 1949

In addition, Arthur S., in AAHistoryLovers Message No. 7263, checked a copy of the June 1950 Grapevine article on Anne, written only a year after her passing (and while her husband Dr. Bob was still living) which gives the same dates for her birth and death. In AAHistoryLovers Message No. 7287, Doug B. double-checked the digital archives at the Grapevine website and also verified that March 21 was given as Anne's date of birth in this June 1950 Grapevine article.


A Tribute to Anne Smith

Anne Ripley Smith
March 21, 1881 -- June 1, 1949
The Loving "Spiritual Rock" of Early A.A.
Wife of Dr. Bob
"The Mother of A.A."

SOMEHOW we believe Dr. Bob's beloved Anne would prefer this simple tribute beyond all others. It was written by one who knew her well. It came from the bottom of a grateful heart which sensed that extravagant language and trumpeting phrases would serve only to obscure a life that had deep meaning ....

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