lede (n.1)
by 1965, alternative spelling of lead (n.2) in the newspaper journalism sense, to distinguish this specialized sense from other possible meanings of the written word, perhaps especially the molten lead (n.1) used in 20c. typesetting machines.
lede (n.2)
"a people, nation, race; the subjects of a lord or sovereign; persons collectively" (as in all lede "all the world"); obsolete, from Old English leod "nation, people," leode (Northumbrian lioda "men, people," cognate with German Leute "nation, people;" Old High German liut "person, people," from PIE root *leudh- (2) "people" (source also of Old Church Slavonic ljudu, Lithuanian liaudis "nation, people").