Bill Wilson (1895–1971), AA cofounder, was the chief voice and writer behind Alcoholics Anonymous — often called “The Big Book” — on which he collaborated with many figures, including his wife and intellectual partner, Lois Wilson (1891–1988); his AA cofounder, Bob Smith (1879–1950); pioneering AA member Henry Parkhurst (1895–1954); and a wide range of early AAs who contributed stories and strategies.
Emmet Fox (1886–1951) was a New Thought leader, minister, and healer widely known for his books The Sermon on the Mount and Power Through Constructive Thinking.
James Allen was born in Leicester, England, in 1864. He took his first job at age 15 to support his family after his father was murdered while looking for work in America. Allen was employed as a factory knitter and a private secretary until the early twentieth century, when he became known for his motivational writing. His 1903 work As a Man Thinketh earned him worldwide fame as a prophet of inspirational thinking and influenced a who’s who of self-help writers, including Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, and Norman Vincent Peale. Allen died at age 47 in 1912.
Henry Drummond (1851-1897) was a Scottish evangelist with a strong background in science. He is widely known his writings Natural Law in the Spiritual World and The Ascent of Man.
Older brother of novelist Henry James, William James (1842–1910) was a philosopher, psychologist, physiologist, and professor at Harvard University. James has influenced such twentieth-century thinkers as Richard Rorty, Jürgen Habermas, Michel Foucault, and Julia Kristeva.