The Pulitzer Prize for History, administered by Columbia University, is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It has been presented since 1917 for a distinguished book about the history of the United States. 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 Pulitzer Prize program has also recognized some historical work with its Biography prize, from 1917, and its General Non-Fiction prize, from 1952.
Finalists have been announced from 1980, ordinarily two others beside the winner.
In its first 97 years to 2013, the History Pulitzer was awarded 95 times. Two prizes were given in 1989; none in 1919, 1984, and 1994. Four people have won two each, Margaret Leech, Bernard Bailyn, Paul Horgan and Alan Taylor.
Entries from this point on include the finalists listed after the winner for each year.
Five people have won the Pulitzer Prize for History twice.
Bray Hammond (November 20, 1886 in Springfield, Missouri – July 20, 1968) was an American financial historian and assistant secretary to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in 1944-1950. He won the 1958 Pulitzer Prize for History for Banks and Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War (1957). He was educated at Stanford University.Constance McLaughlin Green
Constance McLaughlin Winsor Green (August 21, 1897 in Ann Arbor, Michigan – December 5, 1975 in Annapolis, Maryland) was an American historian. She who won the 1963 Pulitzer Prize for History for Washington, Village and Capital, 1800–1878 (1962).David M. Kennedy (historian)
David Michael Kennedy (born July 22, 1941 in Seattle, Washington) is an American historian specializing in American history. He is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus at Stanford University and the former Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West. Professor Kennedy's scholarship is notable for its integration of economic analysis and cultural analysis with social history and political history.
Kennedy is responsible for the recent editions of the popular history textbook The American Pageant. He is also the current editor (since 1999) of the Oxford History of the United States series. This position was held previously by C. Vann Woodward. Earlier in his career, Kennedy won the Bancroft Prize for his first book Birth Control in America: The Career of Margaret Sanger (1970), and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his book World War I, Over Here: The First World War and American Society (1980). He was the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Professor of American History in 1995-6. He won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for History for Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (1999).Don E. Fehrenbacher
Don Edward Fehrenbacher (August 21, 1920 – December 13, 1997) was an American historian. He wrote on politics, slavery, and Abraham Lincoln. He won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for History for The Dred Scott Case: Its Significance in American Law and Politics, his book about the Dred Scott Decision. In 1977 David M. Potter's The Impending Crisis, 1848-1861, which he edited and completed, won the Pulitzer Prize. In 1997 he won the Lincoln Prize.Dumas Malone
Dumas Malone (January 10, 1892 – December 27, 1986) was an American historian, biographer, and editor noted for his six-volume biography on Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson and His Time, for which he received the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for history. In 1983 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.Edwin G. Burrows
Edwin G. "Ted" Burrows (May 15, 1943 – May 4, 2018) was a Distinguished Professor of History at Brooklyn College. He is the co-author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 (1998), and author of Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War, (2008), which won the 2009 Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award.
Burrows received his B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1964, and his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1973, where he studied under Eric McKitrick. The same year, he began teaching at Brooklyn College, where his course on the History of New York City was one of the college's most popular offerings. He resided in Northport, New York on Long Island. Burrows died at the age of 74 in May 2018.Elizabeth A. Fenn
Elizabeth Anne Fenn (born September 22, 1959) is an American historian. Her book Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People, won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for History. She serves as the Walter S. and Lucienne Driskill chair in Western American History at University of Colorado-Boulder.Fred Albert Shannon
Fred Albert Shannon (February 12, 1893 – February 4, 1963) was an American historian. He had many publications related to American history, and he won the 1929 Pulitzer Prize for History for The Organization and Administration of the Union Army, 1861-1865 (1928).Hank Klibanoff
Hank Klibanoff (born March 26, 1949 in Florence, Alabama) is an American journalist, now a professor at Emory University. He and Gene Roberts won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for History for the book The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation.Irwin Unger
Irwin Unger (born 1927, Brooklyn, New York) is an American historian and academic specializing in economic history, the history of the 1960s, and the history of the Gilded Age. He earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1958 and is currently Professor Emeritus of History at New York University.
Unger won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1965 for his book, The Greenback Era. His most recent book, written in collaboration with Stanley Hirshson, a Queens College historian, and Debi Unger, an editor at HarperCollins, is a 2014 biography of George Marshall.James Phinney Baxter III
James Phinney Baxter III (February 15, 1893 in Portland, Maine – June 17, 1975 in Williamstown, Massachusetts) was an American historian, educator, and academic, who won the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for History for his book Scientists Against Time (1946). He was also the author of The Introduction of the Ironclad Warship (1933).Jean Schneider
Jean Schneider is an American historian. She is a Pulitzer Prize for History winner. She was the research associate of Leonard D. White. She was a graduate (Class of 1921) of Vassar College.Margaret Leech
Margaret Kernochan Leech (November 7, 1893 – February 24, 1974), also known as Margaret Pulitzer, was an American historian and fiction writer. She won the Pulitzer Prize for History both in 1942 (Reveille in Washington, Harper) (first woman to win for history) and in 1960 (In the Days of McKinley, Harper).My Experiences in the World War
My Experiences in the World War is the memoir of John J. Pershing experiences in World War I.Pershing's memoir covers two volumes. They were originally published by the Frederick A. Stokes Company of New York City, and released in 1931. Pershing dedicated the work to The Unknown Soldier.Volume I covers the period from Pershing's selection as commander of the American Expeditionary Forces to the German Spring Offensive of 1918.In the second volume, Pershing covers the period from the Allied cooperation that began at the end of the Spring Offensive until the November 14, 1918 Allied victory parade in Paris.Pershing's memoir also contains numerous photos, maps, tables of organization, and other illustrations.My Experiences in the World War received the 1932 Pulitzer Prize for History.Paul Herman Buck
Paul Herman Buck (August 25, 1899 in Columbus, Ohio – December 23, 1978 in Cambridge, Massachusetts) was an American historian. He won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1938 and became the first Provost of Harvard University in 1945.Roy Franklin Nichols
Roy Franklin Nichols (March 3, 1896 – January 12, 1973) was an American historian, who won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for History for The Disruption of American Democracy.Stephen Bonsal
Stephen Bonsal (March 29, 1865 – June 8, 1951) was an American journalist, war correspondent, author, diplomat and translator, who won the 1945 Pulitzer Prize for History.Sumner Chilton Powell
Sumner Chilton Powell (October 2, 1924 in Northampton, Massachusetts – July 8, 1993 in Colora, Maryland) was an American historian and history teacher at the Choate School, a college-prep boarding school in Wallingford, Connecticut. He attended The Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut, earned a bachelor's degree from Amherst College in 1946, and from 1947 to 1952 was an active US Naval Officer attaining the rank of Lieutenant (jg), but remained a Naval Reserve Officer until 1961. He earned a doctorate in history from Harvard University in 1956. In 1957 he published From Mythical to Medieval Man. He won the 1964 Pulitzer Prize for History for Puritan Village: The Formation of a New England Town (1963), based on records on Sudbury, Massachusetts from 1638-1660, tracing every settler back to England.Thomas K. McCraw
Thomas Kincaid McCraw (September 11, 1940 Corinth, Mississippi – November 3, 2012 in Cambridge, Massachusetts) was an American business historian and Isidor Straus Professor of Business History, Emeritus at Harvard Business School, who won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for History for Prophets of Regulation: Charles Francis Adams, Louis D. Brandeis, James M. Landis, Alfred E. Kahn (1984), which "used biography to explore thorny issues in economics." (The New York Times)
Pulitzer Prize for History