David Steward 101: Entrepreneur's Impactful Legacy
Zatrun Published at June 22, 2024

David Steward, born on July 2, 1951, is more than just a billionaire businessman; he is a symbol of resilience and determination. His journey began in Chicago, Illinois, as the son of Dorothy Elizabeth Massingale, a homemaker, and Harold Lloyd Steward, a mechanic. In 1953, the Steward family relocated to Clinton, Missouri, where young David faced the harsh realities of poverty and discrimination. The memories of segregation and the challenges he encountered in his early years shaped his unwavering commitment to breaking down racial barriers and achieving success. has delved into David Steward’s compelling life story, uncovering how he overcame adversity and became a beacon of inspiration. Growing up in Clinton, he vividly recalls a segregated society, with separate schools, segregated seating at movie theaters, and exclusion from public swimming pools.

However, Steward’s indomitable spirit led him to become part of a small group of African-American high school students who integrated the public swimming pool in Clinton in 1967, marking a significant milestone in the fight for civil rights. Steward’s educational journey took him to Central Missouri State University, where he earned his BS degree in business in 1973. His academic achievements laid the foundation for his future endeavors.

Business Career: From Salesman of the Year to Founding a Legacy

After completing his education, David Steward embarked on a remarkable business career. He worked as a production manager at Wagner Electric (1974-1975) and later as a sales representative at the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company (1975-1979). His skills and dedication did not go unnoticed, as he received the prestigious title of “salesman of the year” and was inducted into Federal Express’s Hall of Fame in 1981 during his tenure as a senior account executive.

Steward’s entrepreneurial spirit shone through in the years leading up to the founding of his iconic venture, World Wide Technology. Before launching this groundbreaking endeavor, he owned Transportation Business Specialists and Transport Administrative Services. He also co-founded Telcobuy, a global technology and supply chain management company.

David Steward: A Vision Realized

In 1990, David Steward made a significant mark on the technology industry by founding World Wide Technology (WWT). Initially, WWT focused on systems integration, but in 1993, it shifted its attention to enterprise-wide imaging, conversion services, and telecommunication networks. One of the most pivotal moments in WWT’s history was the spin-off of its telecommunications division in 1999 to create

WWT continued to thrive, even during the technology recession, with combined reported revenues surpassing the $1 billion mark in 2003. To streamline operations, Steward established World Wide Technology Holding Company as the parent entity for WWT and

The impact of WWT resonates even further in the present day, with estimated 2018 revenues exceeding $11 billion. This remarkable success positions WWT as one of the largest private companies in St. Louis.

Civic and Community Involvement: A Commitment to Positive Change

David Steward’s influence extends well beyond the business realm. He is an active and dedicated participant in various civic and community initiatives. His service on committees and boards includes organizations such as Civic Progress of St. Louis, the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association, Missouri Technology Corporation, Webster University, BJC Health System, First Banks, Inc., St. Louis Science Center, United Way of Greater St. Louis, The Greater St. Louis Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, and Harris-Stowe State College African-American Business Leadership Council.

Steward’s commitment to education is further exemplified by his appointment to the University of Missouri’s board of curators by Governor Jay Nixon in 2011. His dedication to ensuring a fair and just society is evident in his involvement in initiatives that affect Title IX investigations at universities.

In 2019, Steward championed a measure in the Missouri General Assembly that could impact Title IX investigations at universities. The measure, initiated by a lobbyist who worked for Steward at the time, was prompted by a Title IX violation case involving a student expelled from Washington University.

David Steward’s journey is a testament to determination and the pursuit of equality. His commitment to creating positive change through both business and community involvement showcases the depth of his impact. proudly celebrates the life of a visionary entrepreneur who has left an enduring legacy. David Steward is more than a billionaire; he is a symbol of triumph over adversity and an advocate for equality in all aspects of life.

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