Stewart Gustav Steven (born Stefan Gustaf Cohen; 30 September 1935 – 19 January 2004) was a British newspaper editor and journalist who grew circulation but whose career was marked by three major errors.

Stewart Steven
Stefan Gustaf Cohen

(1935-09-30)30 September 1935
(one source says 1937)
Died19 January 2004(2004-01-19) (aged 68)
NationalityUnited Kingdom
immigrated from Germany c:a 1936
Alma materMayfield College
newspaper reporter
newspaper editor
EmployerCentral Press Features, political reporter 1961–63
Western Daily Press, political correspondent 1963–64
Daily Express political reporter 1964–65, diplomatic correspondent 1965–67, foreign editor 1967–72
Daily Mail, asst ed 1972–74, associate ed 1974–82
Mail on Sunday, editor 1982–92
Evening Standard, editor 1992–95
Mail on Sunday, columnist 1996–
Board member ofBetter English Campaign 1995–97
Thames Advisory Group 1995–97
London Film Cmmn 1996–2000
Chairman, National Campaign for the Arts c:a 1999–2004
Chairman, Advisory Council, National Campaign for the Arts c:a 1996–2004
Spouse(s)m 1965, Inka Sobieniewska
Childrenadopted Inka's son (Jack)
Parent(s)Rudolph Steven (m. 1931, d. 1943)
Trude Steven (d. c:a 1952)
AwardsGranada Television's What The Papers Say award

Born in Hamburg to Jewish parents, Steven fled to England with his parents in 1941 as a refugee. He subsequently became a journalist with the Central Press, then the Western Daily Press, and from 1963 with the Daily Express. At the Express, he was a political reporter, diplomatic correspondent and finally foreign editor, before becoming an assistant editor of the Daily Mail in 1972, and associate editor in 1974.[6]

In 1972 the Daily Express reported a "world exclusive" that Martin Borman, Hitler's deputy, was living in South America. After six days, the paper realised it was a hoax. Steven left for the Daily Mail.[3] In 1977, he took responsibility for the publication of a false story claiming that British Leyland had a fund to pay bribes.[6]

In 1982, he became editor of the Mail on Sunday, serving until 1992, when he became editor of the Evening Standard. In 1995, he printed a story critical of Tony Blair under the name of Bryan Gould, a former member of the Labour Party's shadow cabinet; in fact, Conservative Party Home Secretary Michael Howard's teenage son Nick had written the article.[7] Steven retired later in the year, serving as the last Chairman of Punch and on the board of the London Film Commission.[6]

Steven was an early enthusiast for the London Eye.[8] He enjoyed cricket and rugby.[1][4] He supported the arts, both personally and in his newspapers.[5][6]

When he married a half Russian half Polish pop singer in 1965, he adopted her son and raised him as his own. She took up painting after retiring from music. At the time of his death he was caring for her; she suffered from multiple sclerosis.[1][4]


  • Steven, Stewart (1974). Operation splinter factor (1st ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott. ISBN 0-397-00982-8. LCCN 73022353.
  • Steven, Stewart (1980). The spymasters of Israel. New York: Macmillan. ISBN 0-02-614410-7. LCCN 80021497.
  • Steven, Stewart (1982). The Poles. New York City: Macmillan. ISBN 0-02-614460-3. LCCN 82009924.


  1. ^ a b c "Obituaries: Stewart Steven". The Daily Telegraph. 20 January 2004. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  2. ^ "Stewart Gustav Steven" (Fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). People of Today. Debrett's Ltd. 2007. Gale Document Number: GALE|K2413027020. Retrieved 5 September 2011. Gale Biography in Context.
  3. ^ a b Greenslade, Roy (20 January 2004). "Stewart Steven: Ebullient editor whose bogus 'exclusives' about Martin Bormann and British Leyland failed to dent his reputation". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
  4. ^ a b c Esser, Robin (30 January 2004). "Stewart Steven: editor of the Evening Standard and The Mail on Sunday". Press Gazette. London. Retrieved 5 September 2011. He started as a copy boy on the Manchester Guardian, landed a job as a reporter for the Oxford Mail, began political reporting for a London news agency, and rose to become one of the foremost figures in Fleet Street and a journalist of great conviction and professionalism.
  5. ^ a b "Press release – 20 January 2004 – Stewart Steven". National Campaign for the Arts. 20 January 2004. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d Leapman, Michael (20 January 2004). "Stewart Steven". The Independent. Retrieved 5 September 2011. (Gives 1937 DOB.)
  7. ^ Lister, David (17 August 1995). "Standards slip over Gould gaffe". The Independent. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  8. ^ O'Carroll, Lisa (19 January 2004). "Former Standard editor dies". MediaGuardian. Retrieved 5 September 2011.
Media offices
Preceded by
David English
Editor of the Mail on Sunday
Succeeded by
Jonathan Holborow
Preceded by
Paul Dacre
Editor of the Evening Standard
Succeeded by
Max Hastings