David was born in 1910 in Suwałki, Poland, to Mordechai Stern and Hadassah Leah née Grosskin. He was Yair’s younger brother.
He studied in the Hebrew Gymnasium in Suwałki. In 1926, he joined HaShahar, and immediately afterwards he set up a Beitar cell, which he headed in 1930. He was among the organizers of the first Beitar conference in Poland.
He became part of the regional command staff of Beitar in Bialystok, and then he became the chief officer of Beitar in Poland. In 1929, he went to Czechoslovakia’s Technion. In 1935, he graduated with a degree in engineering, married Hinda Sperling, and together they made aliyah with recruitment companies of Beitar. After he arrived, he became the commander of the recruitment company of Beitar in Herzliya. He also attended the IZL lieutenants’ course. When he finished this service, he moved on to Tel Aviv and served as the commander of a Beitar cell in Tel Aviv; he also served as the acting chief of Beitar, commander of the recruitment company, and a member of the directorate of the Revisionist Movement. He also helped Mapilim get settled in the Land of Israel.
In 1940, he started working as an engineer, founding a cooperative and a construction contracting company for the Histadrut. On 5 August 1947, he was arrested by the British together with mayors of major cities and activists in the nationalist movement. He was detained in Latrun and Atlit until March 1948. After the State was established, he was active in the Fighters’ Party of Lehi veterans, organizing the Fighters’ List (their symbol was Tu) to run for the First Knesset.
In 1954, he was active in the contractors’ union in Tel Aviv; he went on to be chairman of the board and a member of the central directorate. In 1972, he was chosen as the president of the organization, a position he held for twelve years. When he worked as a contractor, he built in the public sector, erecting many housing projects and public buildings throughout the country. In 1969, he was elected to the city council of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, serving as a member of the city management. At the end of the 1960s, he was one of the founders of the office of coordination among economic organizations. In 1978, he was elected to the Ninth Knesset as a member of the Likud Party. Throughout his life, he held many prominent public positions: a member of the board of the Herut Movement, Likud representative to the Zionist Congress, member of the directorate of government companies, and chairman of the board of the Jewish Settlement Treasury. He is now the president emeritus of the contractors’ union.
He was one of the founders of the Freedom Fighters of Israel Heritage Fund and of Beit Yair. It was his initiative to create an Avraham Stern-Yair Press. This fulfilled Yair’s wish to create a national press. Throughout the years, he documented Yair’s activity, even finding copious archival material in Poland about Yair’s purchase of weapons and his ties to the Polish government.
The Sterns had two children, Amira and Avraham. Hinda passed away in 1985.