William Thomas Stead

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William Thomas Stead

Birthplace: Embleton, Northumberland, UK
Death: April 15, 1912 (62) (Drowning. Died on tthe Titanic)
Immediate Family:

Son of William Stead and Isabella Stead
Husband of Emma Lucy Stead
Father of Willy Stead; Henry Stead; Alfred William Stead; Estelle Stead; John Jack Stead and 1 other

Occupation: English journalist and editor
Managed by: Randy Stebbing
Last Updated:

About William Thomas Stead

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...William Thomas Stead (5 July 1849 – 15 April 1912) was an English journalist and editor who, as one of the early pioneers of investigative journalism, became one of the most controversial figures of the Victorian era. His 'New Journalism' paved the way for today's tabloid press. He was influential in demonstrating how the press could be used to influence public opinion and government policy. He was also well known as a world peace advocate, an advocate of women's rights, a defender of civil liberties, and a fighter for the deprived and oppressed. He was among the most famous passengers aboard the RMS Titanic, losing his life when it sank in April 1912..."

"...He was born in Embleton, Northumberland, the son of a Congregational minister. A year later the family moved to Howdon on the River Tyne..."

"...In 1873 he married his childhood sweetheart, Emma Lucy Wilson and together they had six children. He gained notoriety in 1876 for his coverage of the Bulgarian atrocities agitation. He is also credited as "a major factor" in helping Gladstone to win an overwhelming majority in the 1880 general election. In 1880 he went to London to be assistant editor of the Pall Mall Gazette under John Morley. When Morley was elected to Parliament, he became editor (1883–1889). Over the next seven years he would develop what Matthew Arnold dubbed 'The New Journalism'.."

"...In 1885, Stead entered upon a crusade against child prostitution by publishing a series of articles entitled The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon. In order to demonstrate the truth of his revelations, he arranged the 'purchase' of the 13-year-old daughter of a chimney sweep, Eliza Armstrong.

Though his action is thought to have furthered the passing of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, it made his position on the paper impossible. In fact, his successful demonstration of the trade's existence led to his conviction and a three-month term of imprisonment at Coldbath Fields and Holloway prisons. He was convicted on technical grounds that he had failed to first secure permission for the "purchase" from the girl's father..."

"...Stead was a pacifist and a campaigner for peace, who favoured a "United States of Europe" and a "High Court of Justice among the nations", yet he also preferred the use of force in the defence of law. He extensively covered the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907 (for the last he printed a daily paper during the four month conference). He has a bust at the Peace Palace in The Hague. As a result of these activities, Stead was repeatedly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize..."

"...Stead was an Esperantist, and often supported Esperanto, the international language, in a monthly column in Review of Reviews.

In 1904, after the failure of his latest venture, The Daily Paper, after only a few weeks, Stead suffered a nervous breakdown..."

"...Stead claimed to be in receipt of messages from the spirit world, and, in 1892, to be able to produce automatic writing. His spirit contact was alleged to be the departed Julia Ames, an American temperance reformer and journalist whom he met in 1890 shortly before her death..."

"...Stead boarded the Titanic for a visit to the USA to take part in a peace congress at Carnegie Hall at the request of William Howard Taft. After the ship struck the iceberg, Stead helped several women and children into the lifeboats, in an act "typical of his generosity, courage, and humanity". After all the boats had gone, Stead went into the 1st Class Smoking Room, where he was last seen sitting in a leather chair and reading a book..."

"...In 2001, the W.T. Stead Resource Site, a not-for-profit reference website devoted to the study of W.T. Stead..."

SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'William Thomas Stead', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 17 January 2012, 20:21 UTC, <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=William_Thomas_Stead&oldi...> [accessed 28 January 2012]

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William Thomas Stead's Timeline

July 5, 1849
Embleton, Northumberland, UK
March 13, 1874
Darlington, Darlington, UK
October 31, 1875
Darlington, Darlington, UK
October 1877
Darlington, Darlington, UK
October 23, 1879
Darlington, Darlington, UK
November 23, 1883
October 28, 1889
April 15, 1912
Age 62