Mr. Stead was in his sixty-third year, and was a native of Embleton, Northumberland. After a brief schooling he went into business, but in 1871 he was appointed editor of the Northern Echo (Darlington). Here he remained until 1880, when he was called to become assistant editor under John Morley, of the Pall Mall Gazette. He was editor of this paper from 1883 to 1889, and in the next year founded the Review of Reviews, a monthly publication. He established similar publications in the United States in 1891 and in Australia in 1894.
It was as editor of the Pall Mall Gazette that he introduced American newspaper methods in England.
Years ago Mr. Stead became known as a vigorous oponent [sic] of social evils, a steadfast advocate of international peace, and a patriotic apologist of Russia. His "Truth About the Navy," which he brought out in 1894, led to a material increase in the British navy. In 1896 his work entitled "The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon," an exposure of the legally permissible outrages on women and children, landed him for a three months' term in Holloway gaol. This was followed, however, by the enactment of the criminal amendment bill.
In 1896 he started War Against War, a weekly devoted to the opposition of the Anglo-Boer war. His publications include The Truth About Russia, The Pope and the New Era, The Story that Transformed the World, If Christ Came to Chicago, The Labor War in the United States, Satans Invisible World, A Study of the Despairing Democracy, Mr. Carnegies Conundrum, The Americanization of the World, The Last Will and Testament of Cecil Rhodes.