Mr. Tu was a Catholic. He attended the North China Christian Union College at Pei Tungchow for eight years. After graduation he was on the faculty for three years (between 1905 and 1907) at the same college, teaching history and mathematics.
In 1908 Mr. Tu joined the Reform Society organized by Mr. Thwing and remained with it for four years. The work for the Reform Society prepared him to be a journalist. The society carried on an anti-opium and anti-liquor campaign under the able direction of Mr. Thwing and Mr. Tu was entrusted with the task of preparing propaganda articles for the press.
Mr. Thwing and Mr. Tu went to Kwangtung, Kwangsi, Fujian, Yunnan and Kweichow to investigate the poppy conditions, and many pamphlets were published by them jointly.
In 1912 Mr. Tu joined the Ta Kung Pao of Tientsin as editor. During his connection that paper was most prosperous commercially. Realizing that he could not advocate his policy in a paper owned by others, he started the (Social Welfare) Yi Shih Pao in 1916 with the cooperation of a few friends whose ideas on politics and other public affairs were similar to his. Four months later he established the Peking Yi Shih Pao.
The Tientsin Yi Shih Pao had a daily circulation of 15,009 and the Peking Yi Shih Pao prints 14,000 copies. They are the largest papers in the two cities and wield considerable influence locally. Acting manager of the Peking Yi Shih Pao, Mr. Tu also retained a control over the Tientsin paper. During the Anfu time his paper at Peking was closed by the authorities and he had to flee to the Legation Quarters for safety where he stayed for more than two months. During the fight for supremacy between Chihli and Anfu forces in the summer of 1920, he was being closely watched by the Anfu detectives and his life was in constant danger.