Gallery of past presidents
n August 1910, Rotarians gathered in Chicago for their first national convention. The existing 16 clubs unified as the National Association of Rotary Clubs and elected Rotary founder Paul P. Harris as the organization’s first president. Harris served two terms – the only president to do so.
Other notable presidents include Canadian E. Leslie Pidgeon (1917-18), the first from outside the United States; Sydney W. Pascall (1931-32), the first from Great Britain; and Maurice Duperrey (1937-38), the first from continental Europe. In July 1940, the first president from South America, Armando de Arruda Pereira, took office.
The presidents of Rotary International are elected for one-year terms and must have served as a club president, district governor, and member of the RI Board of Directors. In addition to leadership experience, RI presidents bring a commitment to Service Above Self as well as the culture and pride of their home club and region.
Continue through the exhibit to view an illustrated history of Rotary’s presidents.
The images of past presidents used in this exhibit are available for download from Rotary Images.
The practice of introducing an annual RI theme began in 1949-50. Download available theme logos.