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Historical Photos of Lois & Bill Wilson

Lois Burnham Wilson was born in a lovely brownstone at 182 Clinton Street, Brooklyn, New York on March 4, 1891 "pink, bright eyed and healthy." Here she is at the age of two, posing in the living room for a family photographer.

In 1941, through what they called "the providence of our Higher Power," Lois and Bill bought this comfortable country home in Bedford Hills, New York where they lived out the rest of their lives together. Cared for today by The Stepping Stones Foundation which Lois created, the house is open to visitors who will find the peaceful haven exactly the way these wonderful people left it.

Lois is seen here re-visiting the Clinton Street brownstone where she was born and raised. This is also the house where she later lived through the torment of her husband's alcoholism for more than 17 years before he finally recovered and founded Alcoholics Anonymous with Dr. Robert Smith of Akron, Ohio.

Here we see Army Lieutenant William G Wilson and his bride, Lois, in her simple white wedding dress before putting on the veil. With the outbreak of World War I, the young couple decided to marry just before Bill shipped out for France. The wedding was held on January 24, 1918.

Lois and Bill Wilson relaxing in their lovely gardens surrounding their country home in Bedford Hills, New York which Lois aptly named "Stepping Stones". The historic home remains exactly the same today due to her creating The Stepping Stones Foundation which manages the estate and continues to promulgate her message.

Author William G Borchert is shown leading Lois Wilson to a podium to address the throng of guests at her annual Al-Anon Family picnic. This was in 1986 at her home in Bedford Hills, N.Y. Borchert and his wife were close friends of Lois for the last 14 years of her life.


The historical significance of Lois Burnham Wilson's contributions to America and to the world are only now becoming more clearly recognized. For most of her life, she remained an "anonymous figure," strictly abiding by the anonymity principle of her Al-Anon fellowship. Since her death in 1988 and with it the revelation of her name and accomplishments, it became painfully obvious that true recognition of these achievements was too long was the writing of her biography.
  • Al-Anon today is in more than 130 countries around the world, serving and saving millions.
  • The United States Government has designated the Wilson home a national landmark.
  • The State of New York and more than a dozen organizations around the country have officially saluted Lois Wilson as one of the most important women of the twentieth century.
  • She was honored with the prestigious Humanitarian Award by the National Council on Alcoholism.
  • Famous author Aldous Huxley once said that when the history of the twentieth century is finally written, the greatest achievements America will be known for giving the world will be Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon.
William G Borchert
Phone: 843-855-9747