Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing

The Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing is one of the fourteen American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Journalism. It has been awarded since 1917 for distinguished editorial writing, the test of excellence being clearness of style, moral purpose, sound reasoning, and power to influence public opinion in what the writer conceives to be the right direction. Thus it is one of the original Pulitzers, for the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year.[1] The program has also recognized opinion journalism with its Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning from 1922.

Finalists have been announced from 1980, ordinarily two others beside the winner.[2]

One person ordinarily wins the award for work with one newspaper or with affiliated papers, and that was true without exception between 1936 (the only time two prizes were given) and 1977. In the early years, several newspapers were recognized without naming any writer, and that has occasionally happened recently. Several times from 1977, two or three people have shared the award for their work with one paper.

Winners and citations

In its first 97 years to 2013, the Editorial Writing Pulitzer was awarded 89 times. In nine years there was no award given and there were two prizes in 1936. No one has won it twice.[2]


  1. ^ "1917 Winners". The Pulitzer Prizes (pulitzer.org). Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  2. ^ a b "Editorial Writing". The Pulitzer Prizes (pulitzer.org). Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  3. ^ Christopher N.J. Roberts. "William H. Fitzpatrick's Editorials on Human Rights (1949)". Quellen zur Geschichte der Menschenrechte. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  4. ^ "Post-Star Pulitzer: Mahoney is honored for editorials". Glens Falls, NY: The Post-Star (poststar.com). April 21, 2009. Archived 2009-05-25. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  5. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes | Citation". Pulitzer.org. April 2014. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  6. ^ "Editorial Writing". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  7. ^ "Editorial Writing". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  8. ^ "Editorial Writing". www.pulitzer.org. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  9. ^ "Editorial Writing". www.pulitzer.org. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  10. ^ "2019 Pulitzer Prizes Journalism: Editorial Writing - Brent Staples of The New York Times". 2019-04-15. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
Bill Stall

William R. "Bill" Stall (February 21, 1937 – November 2, 2008) was a reporter and staff member of the Los Angeles Times who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2004.

Edward M. Kingsbury

Edward M. Kingsbury (born in Grafton, Massachusetts on July 6, 1854; died 23 January 1946) was a journalist and reviewer who won a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing.

Edwin Yoder

Edwin Milton Yoder (born July 18, 1934) is an American journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner.

Eugene Patterson

Eugene Corbett Patterson (October 15, 1923 – January 12, 2013), sometimes known as Gene Patterson, was an American journalist and civil rights activist. He was awarded the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing.

F. Gilman Spencer

Frederick Gilman Spencer III (December 8, 1925 – June 24, 2011) was an American newspaper editor.

He was editor at The Trentonian, Philadelphia Daily News from 1975 to 1984, New York Daily News from 1984 to 1989, and The Denver Post, from 1989 to 1993. "As an editor, Spencer gained a reputation for pulling struggling newspapers back from the brink and inspiring respect and loyalty among his staff. He guided the Philadelphia Daily News for nine years and then in 1984 moved to the New York Daily News, where he reveled in the tabloid wars."Gil Spencer lived in Manhattan with his wife, Isabel, until his death in 2011, aged 85.

H. G. Davis Jr.

Horance Gibbs "Buddy" Davis Jr. (June 14, 1924 – August 16, 2004) was an American journalist and educator. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1971 for a series of editorials on school integration.

Harold Jackson (American journalist)

Harold Jackson is an American journalist who won a Pulitzer Prize. In 2010, he was editor of the editorial page of The Philadelphia Inquirer. He was formerly an editorial writer at The Baltimore Sun and The Birmingham News (Alabama).

Ira B. Harkey Jr.

Ira B. Harkey Jr. (January 15, 1918 – October 8, 2006) was an author of books, professor of journalism, and editor and publisher of the Pascagoula, Mississippi Chronicle-Star from 1951 to 1963. Harkey was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing in 1963 for his anti-segregation editorials during the civil rights crisis surrounding the admission of James Meredith, a black man, to the University of Mississippi at Oxford, Mississippi in 1962.

John D. Maurice

John D. Maurice won the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for his editorials about the Kanawha County schoolbook controversy.

Maurice worked as a reporter in Huntington, West Virginia, prior to joining the Daily Mail of Charleston, West Virginia, in 1938.

John S. Knight

John Shively Knight (October 26, 1894 – June 16, 1981) was an American newspaper publisher and editor based in Akron, Ohio.

Louis Isaac Jaffe

Louis Isaac Jaffe (1888–1950) was editorial page editor of the newspaper Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Virginia from 1919 to 1950. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing in 1929 for An Unspeakable Act of Savagery, which condemned lynching.

Maria Henson

Maria Henson (born June 17, 1960), is an American journalist and editor, who has worked for several newspapers. She is currently an Associate Vice President at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, where she lectures in journalism and is editor of the university publication Wake Forest Magazine.Henson graduated from Wake Forest University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in English, and was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 1993-94, and a Jefferson Fellow at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii in 2007.In 1992, Henson won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing, for editorials about battered women in Kentucky published in the Herald-Leader newspaper of Lexington, Kentucky. In 2005, she edited a series for the Sacramento Bee about the Hetch Hetchy Valley, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for writer Tom Philp.

Meg Greenfield

Mary Ellen Greenfield (December 27, 1930 – May 13, 1999), known as Meg Greenfield, was an American editorial writer who worked for the Washington Post and Newsweek. She was also a Washington, D.C. insider, known for her wit. Greenfield won a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing.

Michael Gartner

Michael Gartner (born October 25, 1938, in Des Moines, Iowa) is an American journalist and businessman. He was President of the Iowa Board of Regents.

Paul Greenberg (journalist)

Paul Greenberg (born January 21, 1937) is an American syndicated columnist and author. He currently serves as the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. His articles appear in various newspapers through Tribune Media Services syndicate. He won the annual Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing recognizing his 1968 work for the Pine Bluff Commercial (Pine Bluff, Arkansas), in 1969. On September 27, 1980, then Arkansas Governor, and future president, Bill Clinton addressed the state convention and depicted himself as in the tradition of progressive governors in the state. In response, Greenberg dubbed Clinton "Slick Willie" and alleged he was a false reformer who was abandoning the progressive policies of previous governors such as Winthrop Rockefeller, Dale Bumpers and David Pryor. The phrase Slick Willie would go on to be frequently used by Clinton's opposition throughout his political career.He is the father of journalist Dan Greenberg.

Ralph McGill

Ralph Emerson McGill (February 5, 1898 – February 3, 1969) was an American journalist, best known as an anti-segregationist editor and publisher of the Atlanta Constitution newspaper. He was a member of the Peabody Awards Board of Jurors, serving from 1945 to 1968. He won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1959.

Rick Attig

Rick Attig is an American journalist and fiction writer, formerly a member of the Editorial Board for The Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Oregon. He was a 2008 Knight Fellow at Stanford University [2] and twice shared the Pulitzer Prize.Attig was born and raised in Corvallis, Oregon. He earned his bachelor's degree in journalism and political science in 1983 from the University of Oregon. Before he graduated, he was working as a reporter for the now-defunct Springfield News in Springfield, Oregon. In 1984 he joined The Bulletin daily newspaper in Bend, Oregon where he held a number of positions including senior writer, editorial page editor, and, beginning in 1995, executive editor. From 1998 to 2012, he was associate editor and member of the editorial board for The Oregonian in Portland. He has been recognized in his field with over 40 national, state, and regional awards. Attig was part of a group of Oregonian writers that won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for a series of articles and editorials about abuses in the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.[3] In 2006, he shared with his friend and colleague Doug Bates the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing, [4] as well as the National Headliners 1st Place Award, and he was a finalist for the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award [5] for his editorial writing about abuse of the mentally ill at the Oregon State Hospital.In October 2015, Attig was inducted in the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication's Hall of Achievement. [6]

Attig earned a MFA in fiction in 2010 from Pacific University. [7] His short stories have appeared in several anthologies and literary magazines. His wife, Courtenay Thompson, is also a writer and editor. Attig has two sons, Mitchell, 28, who works in environmental restoration in Portland, and Will, 15, a student at Catlin Gabel School and a nationally ranked youth saber fencer [8].

Virginius Dabney

Virginius Dabney (February 8, 1901 – December 28, 1995) was an American teacher, journalist, writer, and editor. The editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch from 1936 to 1969 and author of several historical books, Dabney won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1948 due in part to his opposition to the poll tax. However, in his later years, he was criticized for insufficient criticism of Massive Resistance.

William J. Dorvillier

William Joseph Dorvillier (April 24, 1908 - May 5, 1993) was the 1961 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing.

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