Our History

Serving Our Community Since 1912
Rotary Club of Houston was established in August 1912 by a group of visionary leaders inspired by the Rotary movement, which was gaining momentum across the United States. Robert Cornell, a prominent newspaper executive, introduced the idea of Rotary to Houston after meeting a member of the newly formed Minneapolis Rotary Club at an advertising convention in Dallas.
Cornell quickly recruited leaders and professionals who shared his passion for community service and fellowship. The club's inaugural meetings were held in the Mecca Cafe, where members discussed the concept of Rotary and its potential impact on the local community.

"Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world, it will be known by the results it achieves."

Rotary founder

Rotary’s Official MottoS

"Service Above Self"

"One Profits Most Who Serves Best" by Arthur Frederick Sheldon.

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Eradication of polio

In 1979, Rotary began a project to immunize six million children against polio in the Philippines. The effort’s success led to Rotary making polio eradication its top priority.

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Rotary Club Archives

Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on how we can help you connect to Rotary history.

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