Our History

Our History

For more than 110 years, Rotary members have been addressing challenges around the world.Grassroots at the core, Rotary links 1.2 million members to form an organization of international scope. It started with the vision of one man — Paul Harris. The Chicago attorney formed the Rotary Club of Chicago on 23 February 1905, so professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas, form meaningful, lifelong friendships, and give back to their communities.Rotary’s name came from the group’s early practice of rotating meetings among the offices of its members.

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What we do

Rotary members believe that we have a shared responsibility to take action on our world’s most persistent issues. Our 35,000+ clubs work together to:

  • Promote peace
  • Fight disease
  • Provide clean water, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Save mothers and children
  • Support education
  • Grow local economies

We work differently

We see differently: Our multidisciplinary perspective helps us see challenges in unique ways.

We think differently: We apply leadership and expertise to social issues — and find unique solutions.

We act responsibly: Our passion and perseverance create lasting change.

We make a difference at home and around the world: Our members can be found in your community and across the globe.

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