Stephen Steed, writer and editor of Democrat-Gazette, dies at 62

Stephane Steed, an editor and writer for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, was found dead at his home in Little Rock this morning. He was 62 years old.

He had suffered a series of medical setbacks, including the loss of a leg, and was awaiting cancer surgery.

We had exchanged e-mails a few days ago to talk about his move to a position as business editor at the newspaper. He was still reporting farming news as well, but said the change to a more office-related position was better for him in his physical shape.

Originally from Leachville (where he landed a spot on Ripley’s Believe it or Not for sharing a birthday with three brothers, not two as I originally wrote), he studied journalism at the University of Arkansas and so impressed the editors of the Arkansas Gazette during a summer internship that he was hired straight into a staff position about 40 years ago. State office and a position in the Fayetteville office were among the positions he held before the Gazette closed in 1991. He later served as a reporter for Donrey and the Stephens Media Group, then held a communications position at the Arkansas House of Representatives before going to work for the Democrat-Gazette in 2016. (Update: I should have also mentioned stints for Spectrum and as a media commentator for the Times.)

Despite the various medical complications, his death still came as a shock to his friends, which he did easily. He had seen the Hogs win on Saturday with one of his old friends from the newspaper and the UA.

He was a journalist through and through. A careful journalist. Able to get people talking. Curious. Passionate. Nice to be with. He had a monumental stash of Gazette ephemera. I cherish the paperboy bag he passed to me.

As I said in a note about his death on a Facebook page for Arkansas Gazette alumni: mute the drums and hang the pancake at Midtown Billiards.