Skip to main content

Big Brother Movement


BIG BROTHER MOVEMENT began in Cincinnati in 1903 when a small group of men led by stockbroker Irvin F. Westheimer agreed to mentor fatherless boys in that city. The movement was formalized in New York City a year later by Ernest K. Coulter, clerk of the children's court. Big Brothers of America, a national body, was formed in 1947. That organization merged with Big Sisters in 1977 to form Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, with headquarters in Philadelphia. By 2000 the organization operated more than five hundred programs, all of which mentored children living in single-parent families. Big Brothers Big Sisters International was formed in 1998.


Beiswinger, George L. One to One: The Story of Big Brothers/Big Sisters Movement in America. Philadelphia: Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, 1985.

Raymond J.Hoffman/t. d.

See alsoFamily ; Juvenile Courts ; Volunteerism .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Big Brother Movement." Dictionary of American History. . 20 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Big Brother Movement." Dictionary of American History. . (February 20, 2019).

"Big Brother Movement." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved February 20, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.