Politician. Son of a minister of the Church of Scotland, Steel was born in Kirkcaldy and studied law at the University of Edinburgh. In 1965, at the age of 27, he was returned to Parliament as the Liberal member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles. In 1976 he became leader of the party in succession to Jeremy Thorpe and formed a pact with Callaghan's Labour government. After the party merged with the SDP in 1988, Steel resigned the leadership and was replaced by Paddy Ashdown. He was made a life peer in 1997, and from 1999 until 2003 was Presiding Officer of the new Scottish Parliament.
Subjects: History — Politics.