Pictured Above:The first four Rotarians. From left: Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, Hiram E. Shorey, Paul P. Harris. Between 1905 and 1912. Courtesy of Rotary International.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Rotary International.
On 23 February 1905, Paul P. Harris, Gustavus Loehr, Silvester Schiele, and Hiram E. Shorey gathered in Loehr’s office for what would become known as the first Rotary club meeting.
Harris’s desire for camaraderie among business associates brought together these four men and eventually led to an international organization of service and fellowship.
Read about each of the first four Rotarians below, and about Harry L. Ruggles, who is often called the "fifth Rotarian."
Rotary’s founder, Harris, was born in Wisconsin, USA, on 19 April 1868. He was raised by his paternal grandparents in Vermont and attended the University of Vermont, Princeton, and the University of Iowa. He was Rotary president from 1910 to 1912 and a member of the Rotary Club of Chicago until his death on 27 January 1947. Learn more about the founder.
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