AS THE CONGRESS of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) approaches its 50th anniversary, we review the genesis of our professional society, the environment in which it was created, and the legacies it has established. The CNS was the first nonexclusive, international neurosurgical organization with no ostensible limitations to membership. From its unpretentious origins, the CNS has grown remarkably in size and scope, yet it has remained focused on its original primary objectives: education, the young neurosurgeon, membership, and volunteerism for the benefit of our specialty. During its 50-year history, the CNS has established a number of lasting legacies that have positively influenced the development and maturation of our chosen specialty. Neurosurgery is unique in having benefited from two strong national member organizations to ensure representation of different generations and perspectives for policy-making, to provide for two comprehensive annual meetings and complimentary journals, to broaden the representation for neurosurgery in our interaction with outside agencies, and to minimize the cost of services provided on behalf of neurosurgeons.