Born in Chicago, the future newspaper publisher and courageous leader in organized advertising, Walter A. Strong graduated from Beloit College in 1905. He joined the Chicago Daily News as an audit clerk, later becoming an auditor and then a business manager. He worked in various departments of the paper, gaining intimate knowledge of circulation, editorial, advertising and mechanical problems.
He became the president and publisher of the Daily News following the death of Victor F. Lawson in 1925 and was prominent in Chicago civic affairs.
Strong was president of the 100,000 Group, a combination of the leading newspapers in the principal cities of America, organized for the purpose of developing and improving newspaper advertising in quality and volume. He was secretary and director of the Audit Bureau of Circulations and director of both the American Newspaper Publishers’ Association and the Associated Press.
He was chairman of the board of the International Advertising Association and aided in its reorganization under the name of the Advertising Federation of America. In 1930 he was elected chairman of the Advertising Federation of America and inaugurated a five-year plan to improve the standard of practice in and public acceptance in advertising. This plan was promoted vigorously by the federation and many of its features were adopted by other organizations, all to the advancement and improvement of advertising ethics and practice.