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. 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.
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.
1917: No writer named, New-York Tribune, "for an editorial article on the first anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania"
1918: No writer named, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), "for the editorial article, 'Vae Victis!' and the editorial, 'War Has Its Compensation'"
1929:Louis Isaac Jaffe, The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk), "for his editorial titled 'An Unspeakable Act of Savagery', which is typical of a series of articles written on the lynching evil and in successful advocacy of legislation to prevent it"
1930: no award given
1931: Charles S. Ryckman, Fremont Tribune (Fremont, Nebraska), "for the editorial titled 'The Gentlemen from Nebraska'"
1932: no award given
1933: No writer named, The Kansas City Star, "for its series of editorials on national and international topics"
1934: E. P. Chase, Atlantic News-Telegraph (Iowa), "for an editorial titled, 'Where is Our Money ?'"
1944: Henry J. Haskell, The Kansas City Star, "for editorials written during the calendar year 1943"
1945: George W. Potter, The Providence Journal-Bulletin, for his editorials published during the calendar year 1944, especially for his editorials on the subject of freedom of the press
1946:Hodding Carter, Delta Democrat-Times (Greenville, Mississippi), "for a group of editorials published during the year 1945 on the subject of racial, religious and economic intolerance, as exemplified by the editorial 'Go for Broke'"
1949: John H. Crider, Boston Herald, "for distinguished editorial writing during the year"
1950: Carl M. Saunders of Jackson Citizen Patriot (Michigan), "for distinguished editorial writing during the year"
1951: William Harry Fitzpatrick, New Orleans States, "for his series of editorials analyzing and clarifying a very important constitutional issue, which is described by the general heading of the series, 'Government by Treaty'" 
1954:Don Murray, Boston Herald, "for a series of editorials on the 'New Look' in National Defense which won wide attention for their analysis of changes in American military policy"
1955:Royce Howes, Detroit Free Press, "for an editorial on 'The Cause of a Strike', impartially and clearly analyzing the responsibility of both labor and management for a local union's unauthorized strike in July, 1954, which rendered 45,000 Chrysler Corporation workers idle and unpaid. By pointing out how and why the parent United Automobile Workers' Union ordered the local strike called off and stating that management let dissatisfaction get out of hand, the editorial made a notable contribution to public understanding of the whole program of the respective responsibilities and relationships of labor and management in this field."
1957: Buford Boone, The Tuscaloosa News, "for his fearless and reasoned editorials in a community inflamed by a segregation issue, an outstanding example of his work being the editorial titled, 'What a Price for Peace', published on February 7, 1956"
1959:Ralph McGill, The Atlanta Constitution, "for his distinguished editorial writing during 1958 as exemplified in his editorial 'A Church, A School ...' and for his long, courageous and effective editorial leadership"
1960:Lenoir Chambers, The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk), "for his series of editorials on the school integration problem in Virginia, as exemplified by 'The Year the Schools Closed', published January 1, 1959, and 'The Year the Schools Opened', published December 31, 1959"
2002: Alex Raksin and Bob Sipchen, Los Angeles Times, "for their comprehensive and powerfully-written editorials exploring the issues and dilemmas provoked by mentally ill people dwelling on the streets"
2004:William R. Stall, Los Angeles Times, "for his incisive editorials that analyzed California's troubled state government, prescribed remedies and served as a model for addressing complex state issues"
2005: Tom Philp, Sacramento Bee, "for his deeply researched editorials on reclaiming California's flooded Hetch Hetchy Valley that stirred action"
2009: Mark Mahoney, The Post-Star (Glens Falls, NY), "for his relentless, down-to-earth editorials on the perils of local government secrecy, effectively admonishing citizens to uphold their right to know"
2010: Tod Robberson, Colleen McCain Nelson, and William McKenzie, The Dallas Morning News, "for their relentless editorials deploring the stark social and economic disparity between the city’s better-off northern half and distressed southern half"
2013: Tim Nickens and Daniel Ruth, Tampa Bay Times, "for their diligent campaign that helped reverse a decision to end fluoridation of the water supply for the 700,000 residents of the newspaper's home county"
2014: Editorial staff of The Oregonian, Portland "for its lucid editorials that explain the urgent but complex issue of rising pension costs, notably engaging readers and driving home the link between necessary solutions and their impact on everyday lives."
2015:Kathleen Kingsbury of The Boston Globe "for taking readers on a tour of restaurant workers’ bank accounts to expose the real price of inexpensive menu items and the human costs of income inequality."
2016: John Hackworth and Brian Gleason of Sun Newspapers, Charlotte Harbor, Florida "for fierce, indignant editorials that demanded truth and change after the deadly assault of an inmate by corrections officers."
2018: Andie Dominick of The Des Moines Register, "for examining in a clear, indignant voice, free of cliché or sentimentality, the damaging consequences for poor Iowa residents of privatizing the state’s administration of Medicaid."
2019:Brent Staples of The New York Times, "for editorials written with extraordinary moral clarity that charted the racial fault lines in the United States at a polarizing moment in the nation’s history."
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.
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.
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. (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.
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 (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.
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.
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 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 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  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. In 2006, he shared with his friend and colleague Doug Bates the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing,  as well as the National Headliners 1st Place Award, and he was a finalist for the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award  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. 
Attig earned a MFA in fiction in 2010 from Pacific University.  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 .
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 Joseph Dorvillier (April 24, 1908 - May 5, 1993) was the 1961 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing.
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