Rotary started with the vision of one man

Paul Harris was born in Racine , Wisconsin , USA , on the 19th of April 1868, but grew up in Vermont. He received his education at the University of Vermont, Princeton University , and the University of lowa, majoring in law, graduating from lowa in 1891. 

He worked as a newspaper reporter, teacher, actor, hotel clerk and cattleman, and gained much travel experience through his work as a salesman for a marble and granite company in the USA and Europe. This allowed him to meet many business people and provided the capability for joining with them to start Rotary Clubs in succeeding years. 

In 1896 he went to work as a lawyer in Chicago. Four years later he conceived the idea of a club for professional people in a small community, and, after 5 years, he consulted with three of his business acquaintances, Mr. Sylvester Schiele, a stone mason, Gustavus Loehr, a mining engineer, and Hiram Shorey, a men’s tailor, at a meeting on 23rd of February 1905. Rotary was born from this meeting. 

It was Mr. Paul P. Harris who initiated the name ‘Rotary”, since the meetings moved, or rotated, from one office to another, in order that each member could gain ideas and knowledge from learning something about the professions and businesses of the other members. 

The membership began to expand rapidly.  “No one can tell us what Rotary will be tomorrow, but one thing is certain: What Rotary will be tomorrow depends upon what we Rotarians do today. ” Arch Klumph, founder of The Rotary Foundation

The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education and the alleviation of poverty. The Rotary Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that is supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.