One hundred years ago the word "cancer" was not spoken, and we lost almost all patients to the disease. Physicians sometimes did not tell their patients or their families they had cancer. A group of 15 prominent physicians and business leaders in New York City knew they had to raise public awareness about cancer if progress was to be possible. Despite the enormity of their task, these determined trailblazers started writing articles for popular magazines and professional journals, published a monthly bulletin of cancer information, and recruited physicians throughout the country to help educate the public. It was this group of people and their brave actions in 1913 that started what we know today as the American Cancer Society.