David Steward

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David Steward
Born1951 (age 69–70)
EducationCentral Missouri State University
Known forChairman and founder of World Wide Technology
Board member ofBarnes-Jewish Hospital
Centene Corporation
Webster University[1]
University of Missouri[2]
Children2; including Kimberly

David L. Steward (born 1951) is an American businessman. He is chairman and founder of World Wide Technology,[3] one of the largest African-American-owned businesses in America.[4]

According to Forbes, in 2019 Steward was one of 13 black billionaires worldwide.[5][6] He was ranked 239th on the Forbes 400 list of American billionaires in 2019.[7]

Early life[edit]

Steward was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Dorothy, a homemaker, and Harold Steward, a mechanic.[4] As a child growing up in Clinton, Missouri, Steward faced poverty and discrimination.[8]

"I vividly remember segregation—separate schools, sitting in the balcony at the movie theater, 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.[9]

Steward received his BS degree in business from Central Missouri State University in 1973.[2][4]

Business career[edit]

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.[4] He is also a founder of Telcobuy, a global technology and supply chain management company.[10]

World Wide Technology[edit]

In 1990, Steward founded World Wide Technology, a systems integrator.[2] In 1993, WWT concentrated its focus on the implementation of enterprise wide imaging, conversion services, and telecommunication networks.[11]

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.[4]

World Wide Technology's 2018 revenue is estimated to be greater than $11 billion,[12] which would rank it as one of St. Louis' largest private companies.[13]


Civic and community involvement[edit]

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.[15] In 2011, Steward was appointed to the Board of Curators, University of Missouri by Governor Jay Nixon,[2] although he resigned before his term was through.[16]


  • 100 Leaders for the Millennium, St. Louis Business Journal, 2000[17]
  • 100+ Most Influential Black Americans - Ebony magazine [18]
  • 14th Best American Entrepreneur, Success Magazine, 1998[17]
  • Business Person of the Year for Missouri, Small Business Administration[4]
  • Company of the Year, Black Enterprise, 1999[17]
  • Entrepreneur of the Year, Black Enterprise, 2000[17]
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, 1998[17]
  • Five time winner, Fast 50 Awards[17]
  • Granville T. Woods Award for Outstanding CEO, 1997[17]
  • Minority Small Business Person of the Year, Small Business Administration, 1997, 1998[17]
  • Phoenix Award, St. Louis Minority Business Council, 2000[17]
  • Small Business Association Hall of Fame, 2001[17]
  • The American Marketing Association 1996 Distinguished Executive[11]
  • Top 100 Industrial/Service Companies, Black Enterprise, 11th in 1998, 6th in 1999, 1st in 2000 and 2001[17]
  • Top 100 List of St. Louis Leaders, 2002 [17]
  • Top Minority Entrepreneur, Small Business Administration, 1998[17]
  • Black Engineer of the Year, BEYA STEM Conference, 2012[19]
  • Horatio Alger Award, Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, 2014[20]
  • Silver Buffalo Award, Boy Scouts of America[21]


  1. ^ Businessweek
  2. ^ a b c d "David L. Steward". University of Missouri. Archived from the original on September 26, 2015.
  3. ^ "David L Steward". Forbes. Archived from the original on June 13, 2011. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "David L Steward, 1951-". Encyclopedia of Business, 2nd ed. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
  5. ^ Nsehe, Mfonobong. "The Black Billionaires 2019". Forbes.
  6. ^ "2019 Billionaires Net Worth". Forbes. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
  7. ^ "2019 Billionaires Net Worth". Forbes. Retrieved February 16, 2020.
  8. ^ "Riseandgrind.com". Archived from the original on December 20, 2009. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
  9. ^ Steward, David L., and Robert L. Shook, Doing Business by the Good Book, New York: Hyperion, 2004
  10. ^ "Telcobuy.com | About". www.telcobuy.com.
  11. ^ a b "Mr. David L. Steward – AMA Distinguished Executive for 1996". Hormon College of Business Administration. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011.
  12. ^ "Press Kit". World Wide Technology. December 22, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  13. ^ Desloge, Rick (December 10, 2010). "World Wide Technology Inc.'s sales pass $3 billion".
  14. ^ Young, Stephanie (August 1, 2004). "The Steps to Success". Black Enterprise. Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
  15. ^ "David L. Steward". National Minority Supplier Development Council. Archived from the original on March 27, 2012.
  16. ^ "David Steward resigns from University of Missouri Board of Curators". Columbia Daily Tribune. Retrieved February 26, 2021.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Kiser, Helene Barker. "Dave Steward". Answers.com. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012.
  18. ^ "100+ Most Influential Black Americans". Ebony magazine. Johnson Publishing Company. May 2002. Retrieved March 25, 2011.
  19. ^ "Wwt.com". Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
  20. ^ Brown, Lisa. "David Steward named Horatio Alger Award recipient". stltoday.com.
  21. ^ Wendell, Bryan (May 26, 2017). "Meet your 2017 Silver Buffalo Award class". Bryan on Scouting.

External links[edit]