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Sally and David R. Brown collection on Marty Mann

Biographical note

Marty Mann (1904-1980) was a pioneer in the understanding and treatment of alcoholism. She was one of the first women to embrace Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and achieve long-term sobriety through it. She grew up as a wealthy child in Chicago, went to the best private schools, traveled extensively, debuted, and married into a wealthy New Orleans family. In her late 20s she became seriously alcoholic and lost nearly everything, even going as far as to attempt suicide. In 1939 Mann attended her first AA meeting. She loved and appreciated AA from the beginning. She was immensely relieved to learn she was not incurably insane, but instead had a disease. In spite of recurring depression throughout her adulthood, Mann devoted her life to spreading information about alcoholism and fighting the stigma, especially for women. She founded the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism, which became the National Council on Alcoholism and is now the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. She traveled extensively, speaking to groups and helping to start AA chapters and branches of the National Council on Alcoholism in the United States and abroad. She was a charismatic public speaker and gave hundreds of lectures. She spoke to and served as consultant to congressional and state legislative committees.