Obituaries

Jack Harvey Rose

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e8188 (Published 03 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8188
  1. Ned Stafford
  1. ns{at}europefn.de

Jack Harvey Rose, compulsive gambler who quit and helped promote Gamblers Anonymous in the UK

By the early 1960s, Jack Harvey Rose’s life had spiralled out of control. Professionally, he was a successful and popular general practitioner in London. But in his personal life he had a problem. A big problem.

A big problem

Rose loved to gamble. Even when he was losing he could not stop. By the summer of 1964 he had been on a long losing streak, with gambling debts totalling many times his annual salary. Worse, some of the debts were owed to his patients, who had unsuspectingly loaned him money.

Over the years his wife, Sally Rose, had “begged him countless times to stop and threatened to leave him, but never did,” according to Peter Rosengard, his eldest son. Rose’s attitude was: “I’ve gambled myself into this mess, and I’ll gamble myself out of it.”

In July 1964, Sally Rose learnt of the London branch of a new group called Gamblers Anonymous. Newspaper articles at the time claimed that compulsive gamblers who regularly attended meetings could successfully quit gambling. Sally …

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