Paul Harris

Paul P. Harris was the founder and organiser of the first Rotary Club in Chicago, Illinois, USA, on 23rd February 1905.  Paul was an attorney who wished to recapture in a professional club the same friendly spirit he had felt in the small towns of his youth.  The name "Rotary" derived from the early practice of rotating meetings among members' offices.  When the organisation of Rotary clubs was created in 1910, Paul Harris was selected as the first President.

Paul Harris died in 1947.  Today, 1.2 million Rotarians belong to some 31,000 Rotary clubs in 166 countries.  In 1957, to commemorate his vision and financially support the Rotary Foundation, the Paul Harris Fellow awards were established.  These are awarded to Rotarians and non-Rotarians in recognition of meritorious service.