David L. Steward is an American businessman. He is chairman and founder of World Wide Technology, one of the largest African-American-owned businesses in America.
Steward is one of four black billionaires in America, being 745th in the Forbes Billionaires 2019 list.
He was rated 239th on the Forbes 400 list of American billionaires in 2019.
- Full name: David L. Steward
- Profession: American businessman
- Born: 1951 (age 69 years), Chicago, Illinois, United States
- Spouse: Thelma Steward
- Education: University of Central Missouri
- Board member of: Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Centene Corporation, Webster University, University of Missouri
- Children: Kimberly Steward
About David Steward
Steward was born 1951 in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The son of Dorothy, a homemaker, and Harold Steward, a mechanic. As a child growing up in Clinton, Missouri, Steward faced poverty and discrimination.
“I vividly remember segregation—separate schools, sitting in the balcony at the movie theatre, being barred from the public swimming pool,” notes Steward, who was among a small group of African-American high-school students who integrated the public swimming pool in Clinton in 1967.
Steward received his BS degree in business from Central Missouri State University in 1973.
After graduating from college, Steward worked at Wagner Electric as a production manager (1974–1975), a sales representative at Missouri Pacific Railroad Company (1975–1979), and a senior account executive at Federal Express (1979–1984), where he was recognized as salesman of the year and inducted into the company’s hall of fame in 1981.
He owned Transportation Business Specialists and Transport Administrative Services in the years leading up to founding World Wide Technology. He is also a founder of Telcobuy, a global technology and supply chain management company.
World Wide Technology
In 1990, Steward founded World Wide Technology, a systems integrator. In 1993, WWT concentrated its focus on the implementation of enterprise wide, conversion services, and telecommunication networks.
In 1999 World Wide Technology spun off its telecommunications division to form Telcobuy.com. Sales for the two companies continued to grow, although revenues slipped in 2002 as World Wide Technology felt the impact of the technology recession.
In 2003 combined reported revenues passed $1 billion, and Steward formed World Wide Technology Holding Company as the parent company for the two firms.
World Wide Technology’s 2018 revenue is estimated to be greater than $11 billion, which would rank it as one of St. Louis’ largest private companies.
Civic and community involvement
Steward has served on committees and boards that include: Civic Progress of St. Louis; the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association; Missouri Technology Corporation, appointed by the Governor of Missouri; 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.
In 2011, Steward was appointed to the Board of Curators, University of Missouri by Governor Jay Nixon, although he resigned before his term was through.