Cosmopolitan International began its long and storied history in Kansas City, Missouri in 1918 where the club was formally chartered and incorporated as the International Federation of Cosmopolitan Clubs. Our founder, attorney Patrick J. Hodgins, had for several years experimented with and started service and civic clubs in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa area. An attorney by trade, Hodgins moved his law practice to Kansas City and shortly founded the first Cosmopolitan Club. Hodgins wanted a civic organization that fully adopted the ideals of Unity of purpose, Service to the community and Action on the part of all members. The name Cosmopolitan was selected because of the meaning of “citizen of the world.”
Cosmopolitan was established for the principal purpose of bettering our communities by providing service and support to worthwhile projects. As with many of the service clubs in existence then and today, Cosmopolitan clubs and members saw needs in their respective communities and sought to fulfill those needs. That same practice is central to the Cosmopolitan role today in our commitment to our communities, our clubs and the fight against diabetes.
Cosmopolitan quickly grew with clubs springing up in St. Joseph and Independence, Missouri and followed closely by Kansas City, Kansas and Wichita. The clubs went international with the chartering of our first Canadian Club in Winnipeg in 1927. Mexico was added with the founding of a club in Mexico City in 1948. In 1933 our organization was reborn as Cosmopolitan International, the name we still hold today.
Cosmopolitans have been involved in a variety of local projects in the communities we serve. But our true legacy is in the area of our fight against diabetes. The membership took on diabetes as our International Project in 1977. Since that time, Cosmopolitan has established itself as a leader in the fight with internationally renowned centers working to identify, treat and research this horrible disease.