Williams founded the YMCA in 1844 at the age of twenty-two in response to the moral conditions he found upon moving to London, England during the Industrial Revolution. He found the conditions to be incompatible with his evangelical outlook as the only recreational outlets for young men at the time were taverns and brothels. Williams sought to create a place where men could partake in healthy activities for the mind, body and spirit and thus the idea for the Young Men's Christian Association was born. The YMCA movement quickly spread across England, Scotland and Ireland and in 1851 extended to North America. Williams maintained a lifelong affiliation with the association and in 1894, the fiftieth anniversary of the YMCA's founding, was knighted by Queen Victoria. Sir George died in 1905 and was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral. He is commemorated with a stained glass window in London's Westminster Abbey.
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