William “Bill” Steif, a longtime journalist and 1953 Nieman Fellow, died at his home in Blythewood, South Carolina on October 15 from respiratory failure related to dementia. He was 93.
Steif spent most of his career at Scripps-Howard Newspapers, first joining the national news organization’s Washington, D.C. bureau in 1962, where he covered politics. He later became a foreign correspondent, transferring to Paris in 1973 and reporting from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa before returning to Washington in 1977.
Born in Chicago in 1923, Steif enrolled in Stanford University in 1940 and wrote for the school’s newspaper, The Stanford Daily. During World War II, he left Stanford to enlist in the Army Air Corps. He served as a weatherman on Baffin Island, north of the Arctic Circle.
Steif returned to Stanford following the war and, after graduating in 1947, began his journalism career at the San Francisco Daily News before joining Scripps-Howard. He retired in 1982, though—after moving to St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands—wrote a column in the Virgin Island Daily News for the next 16 years.
Steif is survived by his wife, Susan Watt Steif, as well as three daughters and four grandchildren.