The Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize /ˈpʊlɨtsər/ is an award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature, and musical composition in the United States. It was established in 1917 by provisions in the will of American (Hungarian-born) publisher Joseph Pulitzer, and is administered by Columbia University in New York City. Prizes are awarded yearly in twenty-one categories. In twenty of the categories, each winner receives a certificate and a US$10,000 cash award.
The winner in the public service category of the journalism competition is awarded a gold medal.
Entry and prize consideration
The Pulitzer Prize does not automatically consider all applicable works in the media, but only those that have specifically entered. (There is a $50 entry fee, paid for each desired entry category.) Entries must fit in at least one of the specific prize categories, and cannot simply gain entrance for being literary or musical. Works can also only be entered in a maximum of two categories, regardless of their properties.
Each year, 102 judges are selected, by the Pulitzer Prize Board, to serve on 20 separate juries for the 21 award categories (one jury for both photography awards). Most juries consist of five members, except for those for public service, investigative reporting, beat reporting, feature writing and commentary categories, which have seven members. For each award category, a jury makes three nominations. The board selects the winner by majority vote from the nominations, or—75% majority vote—bypasses the nominations and selects a different entry. The board can also vote to issue no award. The board is not paid for its work. The jurors in letters, music, and drama get a $2000 honorarium for the year, and each chair gets $2500.
The difference between entrants and nominated finalists
Anyone whose work has been submitted is called an entrant. The jury selects a group of nominated finalists and announces them, together with the winner for each category. However, some journalists who were only submitted, but not nominated as finalists, still claim to be Pulitzer nominees in promotional material.
For example, msnbc.com's Bill Dedman pointed out in 2012 that financial journalist Betty Liu was described as "Pulitzer Prize-Nominated" in her Bloomberg Television advertising and the jacket of her book, while National Review writer Jonah Goldberg made similar claims of "Pulitzer nomination" to promote his books. Dedman wrote, "To call that submission a Pulitzer 'nomination' is like saying that Adam Sandler is an Oscar nominee if Columbia Pictures enters That's My Boy in the Academy Awards. Many readers realize that the Oscars don't work that way—the studios don't pick the nominees. It's just a way of slipping 'Academy Awards' into a bio. The Pulitzers also don't work that way, but fewer people know that."
Newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer gave money in his will to Columbia University to launch a journalism school and establish the Prize. It allocated $250,000 to the prize and scholarships. He specified "four awards in journalism, four in letters and drama, one in education, and four traveling scholarships." After his death, the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded June 4, 1917; they are now announced each April. The Chicago Tribune under the control of Colonel McCormick felt that the Pulitzer Prize was nothing more than a 'mutual admiration society' and not to be taken seriously; the paper refused to compete for the prize during McCormick's tenure up until 1961.
See also: Category:Pulitzer Prize winners Individuals
Many people have won more than one Pulitzer Prize. No one has won both a prize for arts and letters (left column) and one for journalism (right column, incomplete). Nelson Harding is the only person to have won a prize in two consecutive years, the Editorial Cartooning Pulitzer in 1927 and 1928.
Arts & Letters
- Robert Frost, Poetry
- Eugene O'Neill, Drama
- Robert E. Sherwood, Drama (3) and Biography
- Edward Albee, Drama
- Archibald MacLeish, Poetry (2) and Drama
- Edwin Arlington Robinson, Poetry
- Carl Sandburg, Poetry (2) and Biography
- Robert Penn Warren, Poetry (2) and Fiction
- Thornton Wilder, Drama (2) and the Novel
- Bernard Bailyn, History
- Samuel Barber, Music Composition
- Walter Jackson Bate, Biography
- Stephen Vincent Benét, Poetry
- Robert Caro, Biography
- Elliott Carter, Music Composition
- David Herbert Donald, Biography
- Horst Faas, Photography
- William Faulkner, Fiction
- Douglas Southall Freeman, Biography
- Burton J. Hendrick, Biography
- Paul Horgan, History
- Marquis James, Biography
- George S. Kaufman, Drama (both shared)
- Margaret Leech, History
- David Levering Lewis, Biography
- Robert Lowell, Poetry
- Norman Mailer, Fiction and Nonfiction
- David McCullough, Biography
- Gian Carlo Menotti, Music Composition
- William S. Merwin, Poetry
- Samuel Eliot Morison, Biography
- Allan Nevins, Biography
- Walter Piston, Music Composition
- Booth Tarkington, Novel
- Alan Taylor, History
- Barbara W. Tuchman, Nonfiction
- John Updike, Fiction
- Richard Wilbur, Poetry
- Tennessee Williams, Drama
- August Wilson, Drama
- E. O. Wilson, Nonfiction
Journalism This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
- Carol Guzy, photojournalism, various subcategories
- David Barstow, Public Service and Investigative Reporting (2)
- Paul Conrad, Editorial Cartooning
- Edmund Duffy, Editorial Cartooning
- Thomas Friedman, International Reporting (2) and Commentary
- Herblock, Editorial Cartooning
- Rollin Kirby, Editorial Cartooning
- Jeff MacNelly, Editorial Cartooning
- Steve Breen, Editorial Cartooning
- Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling, Editorial Cartooning
- Daniel R. Fitzpatrick, Editorial Cartooning
- Jon Franklin, Feature Writing and Explanatory Reporting
- Walt Handelsman, Editorial Cartooning
- Nelson Harding, Editorial Cartooning (consecutive)
- David Horsey, Editorial Cartooning
- Anthony Lewis, National Reporting
- Mike Luckovich, Editorial Cartooning
- Bill Mauldin, Editorial Cartooning
- Gene Miller, Investigative Reporting
- Larry C. Price, Photography
- Michael Ramirez, Editorial Cartooning
- Anthony Shadid, International Reporting
- Vaughn Shoemaker, Editorial Cartooning
- Paul Szep, Editorial Cartooning
- Craig F. Walker, Photography
- Gene Weingarten, Feature Writing
- Don Wright, Editorial Cartooning
The prize for Public Service is awarded only to news organizations, not individuals. Awards for journalism categories such as General News Reporting may be awarded to individuals or newspapers or newspaper staffs.
The Pulitzer Prizes
Joseph Pulitzer • Pulitzers by year
Pulitzer winners Journalism:
- Public Service
- Breaking News Reporting
- Investigative Reporting
- Explanatory Reporting
- Local Reporting
- National Reporting
- International Reporting
- Feature Writing
- Editorial Writing
- Editorial Cartooning
- Breaking News Photography
- Feature Photography
Letters, Drama, and Music:
- Biography or Autobiography
- General Non-Fiction
- Special Citations and Awards
Awards are made in categories relating to newspaper journalism, arts, and letters and fiction. Only published reports and photographs by United States-based newspapers or daily news organizations are eligible for the journalism prize.Beginning in 2007, "An assortment of online elements will be permitted in all journalism categories except for the competition's two photography categories, which will continue to restrict entries to still images." In December 2008 it was announced that for the first time content published in online-only news sources would be considered.
Definitions of Pulitzer Prize categories as presented in the 2008 competition:
- Public Service – for a distinguished example of meritorious public service by a newspaper or news site through the use of its journalistic resources which, as well as reporting, may include editorials, cartoons, photographs, graphics, videos, databases, multimedia or interactive presentations or other visual material, presented in print or online or both. Often thought of as the grand prize, and mentioned first in listings of the journalism prizes, the Public Service award is given to the newspaper, not to individuals, though individuals are often mentioned for their contributions. Alone among the Pulitzer Prizes, it is awarded in the form of the Joseph Pulitzer Gold Medal.
- Breaking News Reporting – for a distinguished example of local reporting of breaking news.
- Investigative Reporting – for a distinguished example of investigative reporting by an individual or team, presented as a single newspaper article or series.
- Explanatory Reporting – for a distinguished example of explanatory newspaper reporting that illuminates a significant and complex subject, demonstrating mastery of the subject, lucid writing, and clear presentation.
- Local Reporting – for a distinguished example of local newspaper reporting that illuminates significant issues or concerns.
- National Reporting – for a distinguished example of newspaper reporting on national affairs.
- International Reporting – for a distinguished example of newspaper reporting on international affairs, including United Nations correspondence.
- Feature Writing – for a distinguished example of newspaper feature writing giving prime consideration to high literary quality and originality.
- Commentary – for distinguished commentary.
- Criticism – for distinguished criticism.
- Editorial Writing – for distinguished editorial writing, the test of excellence being clarity of style, moral purpose, sound reasoning, and power to influence public opinion in what the writer perceives to be the right direction.
- Editorial Cartooning – for a distinguished cartoon or portfolio of cartoons published during the year, characterized by originality, editorial effectiveness, quality of drawing, and pictorial effect.
- Breaking News Photography, previously called Spot News Photography – for a distinguished example of breaking news photography in black and white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs, a sequence, or an album.
- Feature Photography – for a distinguished example of feature photography in black and white or color, which may consist of a photograph or photographs, a sequence, or an album.
There are six categories in letters and drama:
- Fiction – for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life.
- Drama – for a distinguished play by an American playwright, preferably original in its source and dealing with American life.
- History – for a distinguished book on the history of the United States.
- Biography or Autobiography – for a distinguished biography or autobiography by an American author.
- Poetry – for a distinguished volume of original verse by an American poet.
- General Non-Fiction – for a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in any other category.
There is one prize given for music:
- Pulitzer Prize for Music – for a distinguished musical contribution by an American that had its first performance or recording in the United States during the year.
There have been dozens of Special Citations and Awards: more than ten each in Arts, Journalism, and Letters, and five for Pulitzer Prize service, most recently to Joseph Pulitzer, Jr. in 1985.
In addition to the prizes, Pulitzer travelling fellowships are awarded to four outstanding students of the Graduate School of Journalism as selected by the faculty.
Changes to categories
Over the years, awards have been discontinued either because the field of the award has been expanded to encompass other areas, the award been renamed because the common terminology changed, or the award has become obsolete, such as the prizes for telegraphic reporting, which was based on the old technology of the telegram.
An example of a writing field that has been expanded was the former Pulitzer Prize for the Novel (awarded 1918–1947), which has been changed to the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, which also includes short stories, novellas, novelettes, and fictional poetry, as well as novels.
The 20-member board comprises major newspaper editors and executives and six academics including the president of Columbia University and the dean and administrator of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The administrator and the dean cannot vote. The board elects its own members for a three-year term (excluding the dean and the administrator). Members of the board and the juries are selected with close attention "given to professional excellence and affiliation, as well as diversity in terms of gender, ethnic background, geographical distribution and size of newspaper." Each year, the chair rotates to the most senior member. The board makes all prize decisions.
- Calls for revocation of journalist Walter Duranty's 1932 Pulitzer Prize
- Call for revocation of journalist William L. Laurence's 1946 Pulitzer Prize
- 1962 Biography Prize: Citizen Hearst: A Biography of William Randolph Hearst by W. A. Swanberg was recommended by the Prize board but overturned by the trustees of Columbia University because its subject, Hearst, was not an "eminent example of the biographer's art as specified in the prize definition".
- 1974 Fiction Prize: Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon was recommended by the three-member fiction panel but the eleven other members of the Prize board overturned that decision and no award was given.
- Forfeiture of Janet Cooke's 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for fabricating the story.
Criticism and studies
Some critics of the Pulitzer Prize have accused the organization of favoring those who support liberal causes or oppose conservative causes. Syndicated columnist L. Brent Bozell said that the Pulitzer Prize has a "liberal legacy", particularly in its prize for commentary. He pointed to a 31-year period in which only five conservatives won prizes for commentary. The claim is also supported by a statement from the 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary, Kathleen Parker: "It's only because I'm a conservative basher that I'm now recognized."
A 2012 academic study by journalism professor Yong Volz and Chinese University journalism professor Francis Lee found "that only 27% of Pulitzer winners since 1991 were females, while newsrooms are about 33% female." The study concluded that the majority of female "winners enjoyed access to greater resources than the average male winner," resources including such things as attendance at Ivy League schools, metropolitan upbringing, or employment with an elite publication such as the New York Times.
In category "Pulitzer Prize winners for journalism"
- Herb Caen
- Maura J. Casey
- Frank I. Cobb
- Richard Cooper (journalist)
- Sandra Eisert
- John Fetterman (reporter)
- Mary Lou Forbes
- Sylvan Fox
- Saul Friedman
- Tim Hays
- Jack Jones (journalist)
- Max Kase
- Arthur Krock
- Walter Lippmann
- John Machacek
- Ted Morgan (writer)
- Jack Nelson (journalist)
- Byron Price
- Gene Roberts (journalist)
- Raquel Rutledge
- Edward Schumacher-Matos
- David Segal (reporter)
- Richard Strout
- Cyrus Leo Sulzberger II
- Barbara Walsh (journalist)
- Gary Webb
Category "Pulitzer Prize for Photography winners"
- Eddie Adams (photographer)
- Oded Balilty
- Milton Brooks
- Earle Bunker
- Burst of Joy
- Renee Byer
- Max Desfor
- Alan Diaz
- Michel duCille
- Ronald A. Edmonds
- Horst Faas
- Nat Fein
- Frank Filan
- John Filo
- Flight of Refugees Across Wrecked Bridge in Korea
- Bill Foley
- Stanley Forman
- William M. Gallagher
- John L. Gaunt
- Stan Grossfeld
- Carol Guzy
- Arnold Hardy
- Massoud Hossaini
- Bilal Hussein
- Robert H. Jackson (photographer)
- Thomas J. Kelly III
- David Leeson
- Greg Marinovich
- John McConnico
- Rocco Morabito
- Michael Mulvey
- Yasushi Nagao
- Anja Niedringhaus
- Frank Noel
- Larry C. Price
- Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima
- Jahangir Razmi
- Martha Rial
- Anthony K. Roberts
- Joe Rosenthal
- Kyōichi Sawada
- Virginia Schau
- William Seaman
- Brian Smith (photographer)
- Steve Starr
- Jack R. Thornell
- Neal Ulevich
- Don Ultang
- Nick Ut
- Paul Vathis
- Paul Watson (journalist)
- Annie Wells
Winners and citations Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography
One Feature Photography Pulitzer has been awarded annually from 1968 without exception.
- 1968: Toshio Sakai, United Press International, "for his Vietnam War combat photograph, 'Dreams of Better Times'."
- 1969: Moneta Sleet Jr. of Ebony magazine, "for his photograph of Martin Luther King Jr.'s widow and child, taken at Dr. King's funeral."
- 1970: Dallas Kinney, Palm Beach Post (Florida), "for his portfolio of pictures of Florida migrant workers, 'Migration to Misery'."
- 1971: Jack Dykinga, Chicago Sun-Times, "for his dramatic and sensitive photographs at the Lincoln and Dixon State Schools for the Retarded in Illinois."
- 1972: David Hume Kennerly, United Press International, "for his dramatic photographs of the Vietnam War in 1971."
- 1973: Brian Lanker, Topeka Capital-Journal, "for his sequence on child birth, as exemplified by his photograph, 'Moment of Life'."
- 1974: Slava Veder, Associated Press, "for his picture Burst of Joy, which illustrated the return of an American prisoner of war from captivity in North Vietnam."
- 1975: Matthew Lewis, Washington Post, "for his photographs in color and black and white."
- 1976: Photographic staff of the Louisville Courier-Journal and Times, "for a comprehensive pictorial report on busing in Louisville's schools."
- 1977: Robin Hood, Chattanooga News-Free Press, "for his photograph of a disabled veteran and his child at anArmed Forces Day parade."
- 1978: J. Ross Baughman, Associated Press, "for three photographs from guerrilla areas in Rhodesia."
- 1979: Staff photographers of the Boston Herald American, "for photographic coverage of the blizzard of 1978."
- 1980: Erwin H. Hagler, Dallas Times Herald, "for a series on the Western cowboy."
- 1981: Taro Yamasaki, Detroit Free Press, "for his photographs of Jackson State Prison, Michigan."
- 1982: John H. White, Chicago Sun-Times, "for consistently excellent work on a variety of subjects."
- 1983: James B. Dickman, Dallas Times Herald, "for his telling photographs of life and death in El Salvador."
- 1984: Anthony Suau, The Denver Post, "for a series of photographs which depict the tragic effects of starvation inEthiopia and for a single photograph of a woman at her husband's gravesite on Memorial Day."
- 1985: Stan Grossfeld, Boston Globe, "for his series of photographs of the famine in Ethiopia and for his pictures of illegal aliens on the U.S.-Mexico border."
- 1986: Tom Gralish, The Philadelphia Inquirer, "for his series of photographs of Philadelphia's homeless."
- 1987: David C. Peterson, Des Moines Register, "for his photographs depicting the shattered dreams of American farmers."
- 1988: Michel duCille, Miami Herald, "for photographs portraying the decay and subsequent rehabilitation of a housing project overrun by the drug crack."
- 1989: Manny Crisostomo, Detroit Free Press, "for his series of photographs depicting student life at Southwestern High School in Detroit."
- 1990: David C. Turnley, Detroit Free Press, "for photographs of the political uprisings in China and Eastern Europe."
- 1991: William Snyder, The Dallas Morning News, "for his photographs of ill and orphaned children living in subhuman conditions in Romania."
- 1992: John Kaplan, Block Newspapers, Toledo, Ohio, "for his photographs depicting the diverse lifestyles of seven 21-year-olds across the United States."
- 1993: Staff of Associated Press, "for its portfolio of images drawn from the 1992 presidential campaign."
- 1994: Kevin Carter, a free-lance photographer, "for a picture first published in The New York Times of a starving Sudanese girl who collapsed on her way to a feeding center while a vulture waited nearby."
- 1995: Staff of Associated Press, "for its portfolio of photographs chronicling the horror and devastation in Rwanda."
- 1996: Stephanie Welsh, "a free-lancer, for her shocking sequence of photos, published by Newhouse News Service, of a female genital cutting rite in Kenya."
- 1997: Alexander Zemlianichenko, Associated Press, "for his photograph of Russian President Boris Yeltsin dancing at a rock concert during his campaign for re-election. This was originally nominated in the Spot News Photography section, but was moved by the board to Feature Photography."
- 1998: Clarence Williams, Los Angeles Times, "for his powerful images documenting the plight of young children with parents addicted to alcohol and drugs."
- 1999: Staff of Associated Press, "for its striking collection of photographs of the key players and events stemming from President Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky and the ensuing impeachment hearings."
- 2000: Carol Guzy, Michael Williamson and Lucian Perkins, Washington Post, "for their intimate and poignant images depicting the plight of the Kosovorefugees."
- 2001: Matt Rainey, Star-Ledger (New Jersey), "for his emotional photographs that illustrate the care and recovery of two students critically burned in a dormitory fire at Seton Hall University."
- 2002: The New York Times staff, "for its photographs chronicling the pain and the perseverance of people enduring protracted conflict in Afghanistan andPakistan."
- 2003: Don Bartletti, Los Angeles Times, "for his memorable portrayal of how undocumented Central American youths, often facing deadly danger, travel north to the United States."
- 2004: Carolyn Cole, Los Angeles Times, "for her cohesive, behind-the-scenes look at the effects of civil war in Liberia, with special attention to innocent citizens caught in the conflict."
- 2005: Deanne Fitzmaurice, San Francisco Chronicle, "for her sensitive photo essay on an Oakland hospital's effort to mend an Iraqi boy nearly killed by an explosion."
- 2006: Todd Heisler of Rocky Mountain News, "for his haunting, behind-the-scenes look at funerals for Colorado Marines who return from Iraq in caskets."[
- 2007: Renée C. Byer of The Sacramento Bee, "for her intimate portrayal of a single mother and her young son as he loses his battle with cancer."
- 2008: Preston Gannaway of the Concord Monitor, "for her intimate chronicle of a family coping with a parent's terminal illness."
- 2009: Damon Winter of The New York Times, "for his memorable array of pictures deftly capturing multiple facets of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign."
- 2010: Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post, "for his intimate portrait of a teenager who joins the Army at the height of insurgent violence in Iraq, poignantly searching for meaning and manhood."
- 2011: Barbara Davidson of Los Angeles Times, "For her intimate story of innocent victims trapped in the city’s crossfire of deadly gang violence."
- 2012: Craig F. Walker of The Denver Post "for his compassionate chronicle of an honorably discharged veteran, home from Iraq and struggling with a severe case of post-traumatic stress, images that enable viewers to better grasp a national issue".
- 2013: Javier Manzano "for his extraordinary picture, distributed by Agence France-Presse, of two Syrian rebel soldiers tensely guarding their position as beams of light stream through bullet holes in a nearby metal wall".
- 2014: Josh Haner of The New York Times, "for his stirring portraits of the painful rehabilitation of a man badly injured in the Boston Marathon bombings".
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