The son of an employee of the production company Fox had marketing at the University of his native city, UCLA, studied and learned the film business from the ground up in the school and university holidays.
1952 Steinkamp began as an assistant editor at the MGM and rose at the beginning of 1960 to the chief editor. In the following three and a half decades Steinkamp produced the final version of a considerable number of high-quality entertainment productions in the classic, look gorgeous Hollywood - style, among them multiple productions of director Sydney Pollack. For his work on the Formula 1 racing film Grand Prix, which did most to convince thanks to the rapid cutting sequence of the racing sequences, the cutter could take along with his colleague Frank Santillo, Henry Berman and Stu Linder an Oscar in reception. It was followed by four other nominations.
In the 1970s, Steinkamp learned to his son William Steinkamp and worked with him as an equal co-editor, with all his films 1979-1993 closely. After his work on the remake of Billy Wilder's classic romances " Sabrina " to Fredric Steinkamp withdrew into private life. A year before his death Steinkamp was awarded the ACE Career Achievement Award for his life's work.