LOS ANGELES -- Jim Willis, the founding father of Gamblers Anonymous, died in late November in Camarillo, Calif., it was announced Tuesday.
He was 80.
Willis, who died of heart failure on Nov. 22, founded the organization in 1957 with the help of columnist Paul Coates of the Los Angeles Mirror. There were 13 people at the first meeting.
A spokesman for the group said its aim was for men and women to share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from a gambling problem.
Gamblers Anonymous has 545 chapters worldwide, with 8,700 members.