What is Rotary?
ROTARY was founded in Chicago in 1905 and now includes more than 1.2 million individuals, who belong to 35,000 clubs in almost 200 countries around the world. Each Rotarian belongs to a local club and the clubs form the larger organization, Rotary International.
For more information about Rotary and its remarkable variety of humanitarian, educational and cultural exchange programs, visit the Rotary International website at www.rotary.org.
The History of Rotary
The American West played an important part in the development and growth of Rotary. The second club, San Francisco, was founded in 1908. Oakland was number three, followed by Seattle, Los Angeles, New York City and Boston in 1909. The next year, 1910, the Winnipeg, Canada Club was formed and Rotary became international.
Rotarians are your neighbors, your community leaders and some of the world’s greatest history-makers:
- Warren G. Harding, U.S. president
- Jean Sibelius, Finnish composer
- Dr. Charles H. Mayo, co-founder of Mayo Clinic
- Guglielmo Marconi, Italian inventor of the wireless radio and Nobel laureate
- Thomas Mann, German novelist and Nobel laureate
- Friedrich Bergius, German chemist and Nobel laureate
- Admiral Richard E. Byrd, American explorer
- Jan Masaryk, foreign minister of Czechoslovakia
- H.E. Soleiman Frangieh, president of Lebanon
- Dianne Feinstein, U.S. senator
- Manny Pacquaio, Filipino world-champion boxer and congressman
- Richard Lugar, U.S. senator
- Frank Borman, American astronaut
- Edgar A. Guest, American poet and journalist
- Sir Harry Lauder, Scottish entertainer
- Franz Lehar, Austrian composer
- Lennart Nilsson, Swedish photographer
- James Cash Penney, founder of JC Penney Co.
- Carlos Romulo, UN General Assembly president
- Sigmund Sternberg, English businessman and philanthropist
Ready to make history with us? Get involved.