2016 Pulitzer Prize

The 2016 Pulitzer Prizes were awarded by the Pulitzer Prize Board for work during the 2015 calendar year. Prize winners and nominated finalists were announced on April 18, 2016.[1]


Public Service
Associated Press "for an investigation of severe labor abuses tied to the supply of seafood to American supermarkets and restaurants, reporting that freed 2,000 slaves, brought perpetrators to justice and inspired reforms."[2]
InsideClimate News "for a probe into a major oil company's decades-long misinformation campaign to muddy the debate over climate change."[2]
Tampa Bay Times "for exposing a local school board's culpability in turning some county schools into failure factories, with tragic consequences for the community."[2]
Breaking News Reporting
Los Angeles Times staff "for exceptional reporting, including both local and global perspectives, on the shooting in San Bernardino and the terror investigation that followed."[3]
The Baltimore Sun staff "for fast-moving coverage of the rioting that followed the death of Freddie Gray, reflecting the newsroom's knowledge of the community and advancing the conversation about police violence."[3]
The Post and Courier staff "for its tenacious effort in obtaining video of a police officer shooting an unarmed Walter Scott and superb reporting that put the recorded shooting in context."[3]
Investigative Reporting
Leonora LaPeter Anton and Anthony Cormier of the Tampa Bay Times and Michael Braga of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune "for a stellar example of collaborative reporting by two news organizations that revealed escalating violence and neglect in Florida mental hospitals and laid the blame at the door of state officials."[4]
Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Michael Corkery and Robert Gebeloff of The New York Times "for a revelatory inquiry into a corporate strategy to add clauses to millions of contracts, stripping consumers and employees of their rights to challenge unfair business practices in court."[4]
Tom Robbins of The Marshall Project and Michael Winerip of The New York Times "for a probing report that lifted the veil on an epidemic of violence by corrections officers against inmates in New York state prisons."[4]
Explanatory Reporting
T. Christian Miller of ProPublica and Ken Armstrong of The Marshall Project "for a startling examination and exposé of law enforcement's enduring failures to investigate reports of rape properly and to comprehend the traumatic effects on its victims."[5]
Colin Woodard of Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram "for a compelling account of dramatic ecological changes occurring in the warming ocean region from Nova Scotia to Cape Cod."[5]
Jonathan D. Rockoff, Joseph Walker, Jeanne Whalen, Peter Loftus and Ed Silverman of The Wall Street Journal "for a lucid explanation of how pharmaceutical companies employ secretive tactics to raise drug prices relentlessly, at great cost to patients and taxpayers."[5]
Local Reporting
Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick and Lisa Gartner of Tampa Bay Times "for a compelling exploration of the state's archaic and dehumanizing healthcare system for the disabled, leading to swift proposals to improve treatment."[6]
Chris Serres, Glenn Howatt and David Joles of Star Tribune "for a compelling exploration of the state's archaic and dehumanizing healthcare system for the disabled, leading to swift proposals to improve treatment."[6]
Michael Sallah, Emily Michot, Joanna Zuckerman Bernstein and Sohail Al-Jamea of Miami Herald "for the impressive reporting, enhanced by video and graphic elements, on a local drug sting that cost tens of millions of dollars but yielded no significant arrests."[6]
Sarah Maslin Nir of The New York Times "for an investigation into the ugly side of the beauty industry, exposing labor and health practices detrimental to workers in nail salons."[6]
National Reporting
The Washington Post staff "for its revelatory initiative in creating and using a national database to illustrate how often and why the police shoot to kill and who the victims are most likely to be.[7]
Abrahm Lustgarten, Al Shaw, Jeff Larson, Naveena Sadasivam and David Sleight of ProPublica "for ambitious reporting that uncovered greed, political cowardice and willful ignorance as prominent causes of the water crisis currently affecting the American West.'[7]
Jason Cherkis of The Huffington Post "for deeply researched multimedia reporting on opioid addiction that punctured conventional wisdom by showing how many drug overdose deaths may have been preventable, not inevitable."[7]
International Reporting
Alissa J. Rubin of The New York Times "for thoroughly reported and movingly written accounts giving voice to Afghan women who were forced to endure unspeakable cruelties."[8]
The New York Times staff "for shocking stories told in text, video and photography that demystified the rapid rise and enduring strength of the Islamic State."[8]
Tom Wright, Bradley Hope, Simon Clark, Mia Lamar and James Hookway of The Wall Street Journal "for masterful reporting that exposed corruption at the highest levels of a fragile democracy, leading to 'Malaysia's Watergate.'"[8]
Feature Writing
Kathryn Schulz of The New Yorker "for an elegant scientific narrative of the rupturing of the Cascadia fault line, a masterwork of environmental reporting and writing.[9]
Eli Saslow of The Washington Post "for three humane and topical feature stories exploring lives affected by a natural disaster, gun violence and a frayed social safety net."[9]
N.R. Kleinfield of The New York Times "for the layered and riveting account of the last days of a Queens man, part detective story, part eulogy and part exploration of a city's bureaucracy of death."[9]
Farah Stockman of The Boston Globe "for extensively reported columns that probe the legacy of busing in Boston and its effect on education in the city with a clear eye on ongoing racial contradictions.[10]
Nicholas D. Kristof of The New York Times "for courageously reported and deeply felt columns focused on the crisis of refugees from Syria and other war-torn regions."[10]
Steve Lopez of Los Angeles Times "for richly nuanced columns written in an elegant voice illuminating huge inequalities in wealth and opportunity in contemporary Los Angeles."[10]
Emily Nussbaum of The New Yorker "for television reviews written with an affection that never blunts the shrewdness of her analysis or the easy authority of her writing."[11]
Hilton Als of The New Yorker "for theater reviews written with such erudition and linguistic sensitivity that they often become larger than their subjects."[11]
Manohla Dargis of The New York Times "for reviews and essays that take on the sacred cows of film culture with considerable style and admirable literary and historical reach."[11]
Editorial Writing
John Hackworth and Brian Gleason of Sun Newspapers "for fierce, indignant editorials that demanded truth and change after the deadly assault of an inmate by corrections officers."[12]
Andrew Green, Tricia Bishop, Peter Jensen and Glenn McNatt of The Baltimore Sun "for editorials that demanded accountability in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray while also offering guidance to a trouble city."[12]
Editorial board of The New York Times "for editorials that focused on the human cost of gun violence to argue powerfully for the nation's need to address the issue."[12]
Editorial Cartooning
Jack Ohman of The Sacramento Bee "for cartoons that convey wry, rueful perspectives through sophisticated style that combines bold line work with subtle colors and textures."[13]
Matt Davies of Newsday "for cartoons that deliver insightful commentary in a rich and beguiling visual style while offering unconventional takes on the issues of the day."[13]
Steve Sack of Star Tribune "for painterly cartoons that both delight and provoke, leading readers to see the world and its pressing issues in new ways."[13]
Breaking News Photography
Mauricio Lima, Sergey Ponomarev, Tyler Hicks and Daniel Etter of The New York Times "for photographs that captured the resolve of refugees, the perils of their journeys and the struggle of host countries to take them in."[14]
Photography staff of Reuters "for gripping photographs, each with its own voice, that follow migrant refugees hundreds of miles across uncertain boundaries to unknown destinations."[14]
Andrew Burton, Chip Somodevilla, Patrick Smith and Drew Angerer of Getty Images "for intimate photographs that placed viewers in the streets of Baltimore during protests over the death of Freddie Gray."[14]
Feature Photography
Jessica Rinaldi of The Boston Globe "for the raw and revealing photographic story of a boy who strives to find his footing after abuse by those he trusted."[15]
Jessica Rinaldi of The Boston Globe "for photographs that put a human face to the American opioid epidemic by chronicling the struggles of a single addict in Massachusetts."[15]
Photography staff of The Post and Courier "for photographs that tell from many angles the story of a racially motivated church shooting and its sorrowful but sometimes also heartening aftermath."[15]

Letters, Drama, and Music

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, "a layered immigrant tale told in the wry, confessional voice of a 'man of two minds' -- and two countries, Vietnam and the United States."[16]
Get in Trouble: Stories, by Kelly Link, "a collection of short stories in which a writer with a fertile and often fabulist imagination explores inner lies and odd corners of reality."[16]
Maud's Line by Margaret Verble, "a novel whose humble prose seems well-suited to the remote American milieu it so engagingly evokes: the Indian allotments of 1920s Oklahoma."[16]
Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, "a landmark American musical about the gifted and self-destructive founding father whose story becomes both contemporary and irresistible."[17]
Gloria by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, "a play of wit and irony that deftly transports the audience from satire to thriller and back again."[17]
The Humans by Stephen Karam, "a profoundly affecting drama that sketches the psychological and emotional contours of an average American family."[17]
Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America by T. J. Stiles, "a rich and surprising new telling of the journey of the iconic American soldier whose death turns out not to have been the main point of his life."[18]
Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War by Brian Matthew Jordan, "a history exposing mental and physical infirmities that beset Civil War veterans, maladies that echo in the experiences of many veterans today."[18]
Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor by James M. Scott, "a spellbinding narrative that uses Chinese, Russian and Japanese sources to expand the story of the first American attack on Japan during World War II."[18]
The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency by Annie Jacobsen, "a brilliantly researched account of a small but powerful secret government agency whose military research profoundly affects world affairs."[18]
Biography or Autobiography
Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, by William Finnegan, "a finely crafted memoir of a youthful obsession that has propelled the author through a distinguished writing career."[19]
Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America by T. J. Stiles, "a rich and surprising new telling of the journey of the iconic American soldier whose death turns out not to have been the main point of his life."[19]
The Light of the World: A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander, "a prose elegy and love story told in a lyrical voice that carries the author and her readers across the difficult terrain from grief to consolation." [19]
Ozone Journal by Peter Balakian, "poems that bear witness to the old losses and tragedies that undergird a global age of danger and uncertainty."[20]
Alive: New and Selected Poems by Elizabeth Willis, "a book worthy of its title in which the poet calls readers to look deep within themselves and regard anew the struggle to live."[20]
Four-Legged Girl by Diane Seuss, "a richly improvisational poetry collection that leads readers through a gallery of incisive and beguiling portraits and landscapes."[20]
General Non-Fiction
Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, by Joby Warrick, "a deeply reported book of remarkable clarity showing how the flawed rationale for the Iraq War led to the explosive growth of the Islamic State."[21]
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, "a powerful book that passionately and bleakly propounds the hazards faced by black men coming of age in America."[21]
If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran by Carla Power, "a perceptive account of a year spent reading the Quran, displaying grace, subtlety and humane intellect as antidotes to rampant Islamophobia."[21]
Pulitzer Prize for Music
In for a Penny, In for a Pound by Henry Threadgill "a highly original work in which notated music and improvisation mesh in a sonic tapestry that seems the very expression of modern American life"[22]
The Blind Banister by Timo Andres, "a three-movement piece inspired by Beethoven that takes listeners on a beautiful quest in which they rise and fall with the music's ascending and descending scales."[22]
The Mechanics: Six from the Shop Floor by Carter Pann, "a suite that imagines its four saxophonists as mechanics engaged in a rhythmic interplay of precision and messiness that is by turns bubbly, pulsing, dreamy and nostalgic (Blue Griffin)"[22]


  1. ^ "2016 Pulitzer Winners". Pulitzer.org. Columbia University. April 18, 2016. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Public Service".
  3. ^ a b c "Breaking News Reporting".
  4. ^ a b c "Investigative Reporting".
  5. ^ a b c "Explanatory Reporting".
  6. ^ a b c d "Local Reporting".
  7. ^ a b c "National Reporting".
  8. ^ a b c "International Reporting".
  9. ^ a b c "Feature Writing".
  10. ^ a b c "Commentary".
  11. ^ a b c "Criticism".
  12. ^ a b c "Editorial Writing".
  13. ^ a b c "Editorial Cartooning".
  14. ^ a b c "Breaking News Photography".
  15. ^ a b c "Feature Photography".
  16. ^ a b c "Fiction".
  17. ^ a b c "Drama".
  18. ^ a b c d "History".
  19. ^ a b c "Biography or Autobiography".
  20. ^ a b c "Poetry".
  21. ^ a b c "General Nonfiction".
  22. ^ a b c "Music".
Annie Jacobsen

Annie Jacobsen is an American investigative journalist, author and 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist in history. She was a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Times Magazine from 2009 until 2012. Jacobsen writes about war, weapons, security and secrets. Jacobsen is best known as the author of the 2011 nonfiction book Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base, which The New York Times called "cauldron-stirring."

Anthony Cormier

Anthony Cormier is an award-winning American journalist with BuzzFeed News, and formerly with the Tampa Bay Times and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Cormier was a co-recipient of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

Charlotte Correctional Institution

The Charlotte Correctional Institution is a state prison for men located in Punta Gorda, Charlotte County, Florida, owned and operated by the Florida Department of Corrections. This facility has a mix of security levels, including minimum, medium, and close, and houses adult male prisoners. Charlotte first opened in 1989 and has a maximum capacity of 1291 prisoners.

A 2015 grand jury report delivered a "blistering and graphic rebuke" to the department for the beating death of Charlotte inmate Matthew Walker on April 11, 2014 at the hands of guards. Reporters John Hackworth and Brian Gleason of Sun Newspapers, Charlotte Harbor, Florida were awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for their reporting on Walker's death.Inmate Robert Peterkin was found dead on June 4, 2015, in circumstances that officials refused to explain to his family. Inmate Quonta Howard was found dead on August 4, 2015. His death became the seventh ongoing criminal investigation at CCI.

Gloria (play)

Gloria is a dramatic comedy written by playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins focusing on the lives of working Americans and dynamics in the workplace. The play made its debut Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre in May 2015, after being developed by the same theatre. It was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Henry Threadgill

Henry Threadgill (born February 15, 1944) is an American composer, saxophonist and flautist. He came to prominence in the 1970s leading ensembles rooted in jazz but with unusual instrumentation and often incorporating other genres of music. He has performed and recorded with several ensembles: Air, Aggregation Orb, Make a Move, the seven-piece Henry Threadgill Sextett, the twenty-piece Society Situation Dance Band, Very Very Circus, X-75, and Zooid.

He was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his album In for a Penny, In for a Pound, which premiered at Roulette Intermedium on December 4, 2014

In for a Penny, In for a Pound

In for a Penny, In for a Pound is an album composed by Henry Threadgill for his jazz quintet Zooid, featuring Jose Davila, Liberty Ellman, Christopher Hoffman, and Elliot Humberto Kavee. It was released by Pi Recordings and was awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

In for a Penny, In for a Pound (disambiguation)

In for a Penny, In for a Pound is 2015 album composed by Henry Threadgill for his jazz quintet that won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

In for a Penny, In for a Pound may also refer to

"In for a Penny, In for a Pound", a 2014 season 2 episode of Canadian series Yukon Gold

"In for a Penny, In for a Pound", a 2016 season 3 episode of Japanese series Durarara!!x2

Jessica Silver-Greenberg

Jessica Silver-Greenberg is an award-winning business reporter for The New York Times whose investigative reporting on consumer financial issues has been cited in the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Congress.Silver-Greenberg was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for a series of New York Times articles that revealed how corporations use binding arbitration to prevent American consumers from suing for relief in the judicial system. She was also a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for her 2011 series in The Wall Street Journal revealing the increasingly exploitative tactics of debt collectors. Additional recognition includes the New York Press Club Award for consumer reporting and the Newswomen’s Club of New York Award for Best Bylined Front Page Story.Silver-Greenberg has reported for The New York Times since March 2012. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Kathryn Schulz

Kathryn Schulz is an American journalist and author, and the former book critic for New York magazine. She joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2015. Schulz won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for her New Yorker article on a potential large earthquake in the Pacific Northwest.

Leonora LaPeter Anton

Leonora LaPeter Anton is an American journalist with the Tampa Bay Times. Anton was a co-recipient of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting.

Martha Mendoza

Martha Mendoza is a Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press journalist whose reporting has helped free over 2,000 enslaved fishermen and prompted action by the U.S. Congress and the White House.

She earned her first Pulitzer Prize in the Investigative Reporting category in 2000 as part of a team of Associated Press (AP) journalists that uncovered the massacre of Korean civilians by U.S. soldiers at the No Gun Ri bridge during the Korean War. Her second Pulitzer in 2016, for reporting that revealed seafood widely available in U.S. stores was being processed by slave labor in Southeast Asia, was the AP’s first Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in its history.

Mendoza is currently an AP national reporter based in Northern California and a member of AP’s Global Investigative Team. She has specialized in reporting on human trafficking in Asia since 2015.

Ozone Journal

Ozone Journal is a 2016 Pulitzer Prize winning work by Peter Balakian.

The title poem of Balakian's Ozone Journal is a sequence of 54 short sections, "each a poem in itself, recounting the speaker's memory of excavating the bones of Armenian genocide victims in the Syrian desert with a crew of television journalists in 2009."The long poem “Ozone Journal” is a sequel to Balakian's “A Train-Ziggurat Elegy” (2010). While excavating the remains of Armenian genocide survivors in the Syrian desert with a TV crew, the persona navigates his own memory of New York City in a decade (the 1980s) of crisis. Ozone Journal creates inventive lyrical insight in a global age of danger and uncertainty.

According to Bruce Smith, in this book "Balakian masterfully does the thing nobody else does which is to derange history into poetry, to make poetry painting, to make painting culture, to make culture living, and with a historical depth that finds the right experience in language."The Pulitzer board said that Balakian’s work “bear witness to the old losses and tragedies that undergird a global age of danger and uncertainty.”

Sarah Maslin Nir

Sarah Maslin Nir (born March 23, 1983) is an American journalist, best known for her New York Times report on the working conditions of nail salon workers, for which she was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting. The story generated both extensive regulatory changes and extensive criticism.

Stephen Karam

Stephen Karam is an American playwright and screenwriter. His plays Sons of the Prophet, a comedy-drama about a Lebanese-American family, and The Humans were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2012 and 2016, respectively. The Humans won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play.

T. J. Stiles

T. J. Stiles (born 1964 in Foley, Minnesota) is an American biographer who lives in Berkeley, California. His book The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009) won a National Book Award and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography. His book Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America received the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for History.

The Humans (play)

The Humans is a one-act play written by Stephen Karam. The play opened on Broadway in 2016 after an engagement Off-Broadway in 2015. The Humans was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play.

The Sympathizer

The Sympathizer is the 2015 debut novel by Vietnamese American professor Viet Thanh Nguyen. It is a best-selling novel and recipient of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Its reviews have generally recognized its excellence, and it was named a New York Times Editor's Choice.The novel fits the expectations of a number of different novel genres: immigrant, mystery, political, metafiction, dark comedic, historical, spy, and war. The story depicts the anonymous narrator, a North Vietnamese mole in the South Vietnamese army, who stays embedded in a South Vietnamese community in exile in the United States. While in the United States, the narrator describes being an expatriate and a cultural advisor on the filming of an American film, closely resembling Platoon and Apocalypse Now, before returning to Vietnam as part of a guerrilla raid against the communists.

The dual identity of the narrator, as a mole and immigrant, and the Americanization of the Vietnam War in international literature are central themes in the novel. The novel was published 40 years to the month after the fall of Saigon, which is the initial scene of the book.

Viet Thanh Nguyen

Viet Thanh Nguyen (born March 13, 1971) is a Vietnamese-American novelist. He is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Nguyen's debut novel, The Sympathizer, won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction among other accolades, including the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction from the American Library Association, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel from an American Author from the Mystery Writers of America, and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in Fiction from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association. He was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2017. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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