This image is the cover for the book Sam Steele

Sam Steele

The life of Canada’s police and military hero is “a story worth telling. Macleod’s solid research and clear writing also make it a story worth reading” (

Sam Steele, “the man who tamed the Gold Rush,” had a high-profile public career, yet his private life has been closely protected. This biography follows Steele’s rise from farm boy in backwoods Ontario to the much-lauded Major General Sir Samuel Benfield Steele. Drawing on the vast Steele archive at the University of Alberta, this comprehensive biography vividly recounts some of the most significant events of the first fifty years of Canadian Confederation—including the founding of the North-West Mounted Police, the opening of the North through the Klondike, and Canada’s participation in the South African War—from the perspective of a policeman who became a military leader. Impeccably researched and accessibly written, Sam Steele is perfect for anyone interested in Canada’s early decades.

“Deeply-researched and elegantly written, this book brings alive one of the most intriguing characters of Canadian history who has been undeservedly forgotten.” —Charlotte Gray, bestselling author of Murdered Midas

“A revealing story of a talented, dedicated Canadian who always strove to do his best for his country.” —Canadian Military History

“Focusing on its subject’s life and career, Sam Steele paints a thoughtful portrait of an interesting and important man that, like any good book, raises interesting and important questions . . . this biography is likely to remain the definitive work on Steele’s life.” —Canadian Historical Review

Rod Macleod

University of Alberta Press