Hungarian-born journalist and newspaper magnate, Joseph Pulitzer believed that “our republic and its press will rise or fall together. An able, disinterested, public-spirited press with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery.” (North American Review, May 1904)
To honor courage and excellence in all forms of American publishing is the purpose of the Pulitzer Prizes awarded each year. The first awards, provided for in Mr. Pulitzer’s will, were made in June 1917, in the midst of the turmoil of World War I.
Today, awards are made yearly for new publications in Biography or Autobiography, Drama, Fiction, General Nonfiction, History, Music, Poetry and, of course, in nearly twenty categories of Journalism, unless no publication in a category is determined to meet the standards of the prize for that year.
Many of these books are available now in the Erwin Library’s book exhibit displays for June 2013. You may check one out and savor the joys of a truly well-written, intriguing piece of writing. To find out more about the Pulitzer Prizes, their history, as well as all the winners and finalists, investigate The Pulitzer Prizes website, maintained by Columbia University.