The Founder of Rotary


At 5:12:06 A.M. on April 18, 1906, an earthquake shook the vibrant, former gold-rush community of San Francisco. The terror lasted for 40 seconds, according to the club’s history “75 Years in San Francisco.

The story of how this city picked itself up is one for the ages. Then the story of the birth of Rotary in San Francisco just two years later was momentous for tiny Rotary.

Paul P. Harris, a Chicago attorney, who started a club called “Rotary” in 1905, had worked in San Francisco in 1891. His record of that is found on page 42 of “The Founder of Rotary,” which can be read only in rarely found books or at this project.

This is how many historical events get lost and never reaches people. When someone creates something that goes down in history, it is not well recorded and is not presented well enough to reach the masses. It reaches only a selected few, while news about many trivial issues will reach far and wide.

Though this particular detail can be found in selected books, how are we to gauge how many people will get access to such books? How will we know who knows about his great works? Rotary has gained name and fame today and everyone is familiar with its concept and workings, but its history?

Recording information the right way is very important and making it accessible is even more important. This is why the companies that are part of the stock market are expected to release their data to share holders and the public. This is strictly followed by the stock market, so as to ensure the investors have access to company records, which will help them gauge the movement of the stocks. This will help an investor choose the right funds. However, were you to use the automated trading software like Fintech Ltd, etc, the software will analyze and correlate all the data and make the investments for you.

The creator of this software is also a trader and is in fact well experienced. When people who have been in the field start something, they address the problems they have faced and ensure the future users will have it simpler.

In Rotary, Harris ensured he recorded everything well.

Before starting a law practice in Chicago, Harris traveled the US and shipped out twice to Europe over a five year period. In San Francisco he worked for The San Francisco Chronicle.

In 1935, Harris recorded the historic meeting with his former Chicago friend and roommate Manuel Munoz and San Francisco Attorney Homer Wood. (See comments on page 77 “This Rotarian Age.”) Harris had asked Munoz to look for an opportunity to start a second club while he was traveling on business.

This section of our project is dedicated to the second club of Rotary, from which all the early clubs on the West Coast were born. You’ll learn the stories of their early presidents, the historic conventions, the history of the club, the founder of SF#2, and a controversy involving a few SF Rotarians.

Also see the history of Rotary Districts

Jack Selway,

Former member: Rotary Club of San Francisco #2

Chairman Emeritus and Founder

Rotary Global History