A Brief History
1917 – The Beginning Of Lions
In response to social problems created by World War I and rapid industrialisation, a Chicago businessman named Melvin Jones invites business clubs from around the USA to a meeting where the Association of Lions Clubs is formed.
1920 – Start of Lions International
Just three years after founding, Lions International becomes international when the Border Cities Lions Club in Windsor, Canada is established. At the time, Lions were active in 23 U.S. states with a total of 6,400 members.
1957 – Leos
The Leo Program is developed to provide the youth of the world with an opportunity for personal development through volunteering. Today, there are more than 175,000 Leos and 7,000 Leo clubs in over than 140 countries worldwide.
1968 – Foundation
Lions Clubs International Foundation is created, with the mission “to support the efforts of Lions clubs and partners in serving communities locally and globally, giving hope and impacting lives through humanitarian service projects and grants.” Today, our foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants.
2017 – Our Centenary
The 100th year of serving local communities and the globe is celebrated at the Lions Clubs International Centennial Convention in Chicago, Illinois, USA—the same city where the association began.