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William Thomas Stead
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    (July 5, 1849-April 15, 1912)
    Born in Embleton, England, United Kingdom
    Edited the Northern Echo (1871-80) and Pall Mall Gazette (1883-89)
    Founded the Review of Reviewers (1890)
    Died in the sinking of the Titanic
    He was openly partisan, writing 'The supreme duty of a Liberal journalist was to win as many seats as possible for the Liberal Party.'
    He caught mice in his office, cooked them and served them on toast.
    He was accused of creating news rather than reporting on it.
    In his most notorious stunt, as part of an investigation into child prostitution, he bought a 13-year-old girl from her mother for £5 (1885).
    He served three months in prison for this act.
    He became an ardent spiritualist and published a series of 'conversations' he had via seance with late American journalist Julia Amis.
    Over two decades before his death, he wrote a fictional story about a ship sinking with a high death toll due to a lack of lifeboats and noted, 'This is exactly what might take place and will take place if liners are sent to sea short of boats.'
    He was a pioneer of modern journalism techniques from banner headlines to celebrity interviews.
    He wrote a series of articles about attrocities committed by the Ottoman Empire in Bulgaria that prompted European intervention (1876).
    His reports on child prostitution galvanized Parliament into raising the age of consent from 13 to 16 and making it a criminal offense to abduct a girl under 18 for purposes of carnal knowledge or to procure girls for prostitution by administering drugs, intimidation or fraud.
    He was a supporter of women's rights and was the first editor to hire female reporters for the same pay as men.
    He boarded the Titanic to attend a peace conference at Carnegie Hall at the request of President William Howard Taft.
    During the sinking of the Titanic, he helped women and children into the lifeboats, with one survivor praising his 'superhuman composure.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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