Big Book Milestones

It is expected that the 40 millionth copy of the Big Book will be sold this year.  To commemorate this milestone, a copy of the book will be presented to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) at the 2020 International Convention in Detroit, Michigan.  The lead federal agency for research on alcohol, NIAAA’s mission is to generate and disseminate fundamental knowledge about the effects of alcohol on health and well-being, and to apply that knowledge to improve the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of alcohol-related problems.

Over the years, in celebration of such milestones for A.A.’s basic text and to reflect A.A.’s gratitude for its many friends and supporters outside the Fellowship, ceremonial copies of Alcoholics Anonymous have been presented to individuals or organizations familiar and friendly to the A.A. Fellowship:

  • The 1-millionth copy was presented to President Richard Nixon in 1973;
  • The 2-millionth copy to U.S. Health, Education, and Welfare Secretary Joseph Califano in 1979
  • The 5-millionth copy to Ruth Hock (non-alcoholic) who typed draft after draft of the original manuscript, at the 1985 International Convention in Montreal;
  • The 10-millionth copy to Nell Wing, Bill W’s longtime (non-alcoholic) secretary and A.A.’s first archivist, at the 1990 International Convention in Seattle;
  • The 15-millionth copy to Ellie Norris, widow of former Class A (non-alcoholic) trustee chairman John L. Norris, M.D. in 1996;
  • The 20-millionth copy to the Al-Anon Family Groups at the 2000 International Convention in Minneapolis;
  • The 25-millionth copy to Jill Brown, warden of San Quentin Prison, at the 2005 International Convention in Toronto;
  • The 30-millionth to Rebecca Patchin, past chair of the American Medical Association board of trustees at the 2010 International Convention in San Antonio;
  • The 35-millions copy to Sister Judith Ann Karam of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, the religious order of Sister Ignatia, at the 2015 International Convention in Atlanta.