William Stead

Born 1849 Died 1912

William T. Stead was a reformer, most popular as the author of If Christ Came to Chicago(1894). He wrote about urban reforms using religious language, calling for a "City Church." Stead's book showed the new wave of Protestant thought which would be referred to as the "social gospel."

In it, Stead named names and cited figures, one of the early examples of investigative reporting. He also had detailed and color coded maps of the Levee, breaking it down in who owned it. The city for Stead was wonderful and disgusting at the same time.1

His book was an immediate success. The next step for him was to organize mass meetings at Central Music Hall. Here Stead brought major capitalists and labor leaders together. These meetings would ultimately result in the creation of a committee of 5, including Jane Addams and Turlington W. Harvey. This group would form the center of the Civic Federation.2

Stead would end up going down on the Titanic in 1912.

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