George Allen, an Englishman, launched The Pioneer in Allahabad in 1865. It was published thrice a week for three years and from 1869, it was published daily. In 1866, a supplement, the Pioneer Mail that contained mostly advertisements was added to the main paper. In the year 1874, the Pioneer Mail and India Weekly News began to feature short stories and travel writings.
In July 1933, The Pioneer was sold to a syndicate and was transferred from Allahabad to Lucknow. Till the 90's the newspaper remained a Lucknow based newspaper when it was purchased by the Thapar Group. Later on the group went on to publish from a number of centers in India.