Talk:Pulitzer Prize

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Duke Ellington[edit]

Duke Ellington was voted the winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1965, but the Pulitzer Board refused to accept the ruling and decided not to give an award out that year. The Pulitzer Prize had been criticized for only focusing on classical music and not other genres, such as jazz or film scoring. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:01, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

The following is misleading[edit]

The following is misleading:

"There are two other humanities categories that have been added:

  * Drama 
  * Music"

This implies that the drama prize is recent or added sometime after establishment of the prizes. According to, the drama prize was specified in Joseph Pulitzer's 1904 will. While the music, poetry and photography awards were added at a later date, the drama prize was in the original set. This article makes the drama award seem like an afterthought.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Edc99801 (talkcontribs) on 16:35, 9 August 2005

Yearly articles need real introductions[edit]

I just created an introduction to the 1975 Pulitzer Prize article, based significantly on contemporary reporting by The New York Times. I'd like to encourage other editors to do the same for other years. You might find it handy to do a site-specific search of the website, as in the search I did to find most of the details I added to the 1975 intro. 13:39, 28 September 2006 (UTC).

Independent Board[edit]

The intro says that the prize is awarded by an "independent board". Who is that? Who is on it? Are they affiliated with Columbia? It's somethign for someone to figure out. Zweifel 01:24, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

continued 2012, #"The board" -P64

Pulitzer clean-up[edit]

I just noticed that the Pulitzer Prize section is, for the most part, a complete wreck. Nobel Prize could serve as a model for improvements. {{PulitzerPrizes}} could probably use some tweaking, and a different template for the "Pulitzer Prize in XXX" pages could be used. Standardization of lists across these articles would also be good. Is anyone else watching these pages/wishing to pitch in and help? --JayHenry 03:31, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

It isn't great, but then again it's barely been touched since I rewrote the page about three years ago, and standards have improved vastly in that time. I'd be happy to help improve things, but I'm afraid someone else is going to have to take the lead on this one. Rebecca 05:55, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, this page is actually in decent shape. My concern is mostly with the Pulitzer "subpages" in Category:Pulitzer Prizes. I'll do some thinking and post some ideas for standardization here. --JayHenry 13:12, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
I whipped up a template {{pulitzer}} on display at right. I wouldn't put it on the main page here, but I think it'd make a really nice addition to the pages on the various prizes. Do people like it or at least the general idea? --JayHenry 20:01, 29 June 2007 (UTC)
I certainly do - that looks superb. However, I fear you're going to have problems with that image. While the user who uploaded it says that it was public domain, this looks like bollocks to me in the absence of any explanation as to why. More likely, it'll be fair use - and that's not something we can use in templates. Rebecca 01:14, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Hmm... you know I looked at that image and it didn't even register that this was probably a bogus tag. Yeah, you're right. Phooey. --JayHenry 02:46, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
The template still looks great, however. I'd have no objection to sticking this in the respective articles today. Rebecca 02:49, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, I took the image out, and it still looks nice. Let's do it! --JayHenry 02:56, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

i replaced the image of the gold medal. its copyright is correct as it was designed in 1917, and its designer, Daniel Chester French, died in 1931. --emerson7 | Talk 21:28, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Would you be able to explain this clearly on the image page? If it's just left with the simple PD tag, it is very likely to be deleted regardless. Rebecca 01:14, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Robert Penn Warren[edit]

Wasn't Robert Penn Warren awarded a Pulitzer Prize for both poetry and fiction? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cglied (talkcontribs) 20:41, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Multiple Winners[edit]

I am interested to know if Robert E. Sherwood and Eugene O'Neill are the only 4-time winners? And was Margaret Leech the only 2-time female winner? Thanks. -- K72ndst (talk) 13:59, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Some people would say that Dana Priest won twice. Although technically the Public Service award goes to the newspaper, it's actually considered far more prestigious to have your name in the citation, than to win any of the other journalism awards. Robert Frost won the poetry prize four times. Possibly others, but I don't think so. Thomas Friedman and Walt Bogdanich have won thrice. --JayHenry (talk) 00:05, 17 May 2008 (UTC)
Under Two Time Winners, add Biologist E.O. Wilson for General Non-Fiction in 1979 and 1991. (```` jennyamh) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jennyamh (talkcontribs) 05:44, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Did Robert E. Sherwood win four Prizes, or even two? He is not listed in section 3.1 Pulitzer Prize#Individuals.
"Recipients of multiple Pulitzer Prizes include:"
If the list is not complete then its criteria need explanation, at least, and it may need to be completed.
If its true that no one has won two consecutive awards, and Gene Weingarten alone has won two in three years, that should be stated. --P64 (talk) 15:17, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Nelson Harding won two consecutive awards, for Editorial Cartooning. In general, I noticed that a number of people won multiple Editorial Cartooning awards. Some of them were listed, but not others. I attempted to fix this. DaWarMage (talk) 20:23, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

2014. See #Repeat winners below.

What's the point of this paragraph?[edit]

Can someone justify this paragraph, to me:

"Several of the more famous recipients of the Pulitzer Prize include Ernest Hemingway, Eudora Welty, and Toni Morrison for Fiction; Robert Frost for Poetry; Roger Ebert for Criticism; and Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Stephen Sondheim for Drama."

Is it to clarify that "this prize is important"? I don't think that's necessary, and the reason I don't like this paragraph is because it begins with an absurd pretense-- Hemingway, Welty and Morrison are some of the more famous ones to win for Fiction, really? They're certainly famous, but they're not more famous than, oh, say... Faulkner, Steinbeck, Wharton, Cather, Mailer, Updike, Bellow, Roth, McCarthy, Proulx, Cheever. Why point those in particular out? Why list ONLY Robert Frost for poetry, when other winners include W.H. Auden (arguably more acclaimed than Frost), Robert Lowell, William Carlos Williams. Etc. Hm? Hm? Chicopac (talk) 19:00, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

Pulitzer website has changed[edit]

The URLs for the year pages on the Pulitzer website have changed; the new form is: -- someone with a bot should go through and fix all the year pages. JesseW, the juggling janitor 21:17, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Entry & Prize Consideration (exposes important info about paying for entry, etc)[edit]

I see nothing wrong with this section (everything is perfectly accurate), but somebody axed just about the the entire thing with no explanation, and stuffed what was left at the very, very bottom of the article, on the lowest possible line. This is how it's supposed to be (see below). This is crucially important, and the subject matter (entry and consideration) is worthy to be the the first-listed section - when I first came to this article, I was by far most interested in the facts about entry/consideration/etc (and I'm not a Pulitzer entrant, and will never be), and "History" came a distant second or third, because it isn't a "here and now" thing like how one enters today (and who)

The Pulitzer (pronounced "PULL-it-seh"[needs IPA]) Prize does not consider all applicable works in the media, but only those that have been entered with a $50 entry fee[1] (one per desired entry category), or any work that is specifically chosen for review by special admission. Entries must also fit in at least one of the specific prize categories, and cannot simply gain entrance on the grounds of having general literary or compositional properties.[1] Works can also only be entered into a maximum of two prize categories, regardless of their properties.

-- (talk) 01:33, 20 April 2009 (UTC)


At least one person—the Washington Post's Janet Cooke—has had to give the prize back. I'm not sure if there are others. Is this worth mentioning somewhere? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:26, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Jewish American writers[edit]

I was doing a bit of research on Jewish American writers and I found out that quite a few of them had been recipients of the Pulitzer Prize. Is this just a coincidence, or is there a kind of institutional link here, owing to the fact that Pulitzer was himself Jewish ? ADM (talk) 07:46, 16 July 2009 (UTC)


It is difficult to the Pulitzer prizes seriously. Don't know why for sure. As if a mainstream US literary prize could never entirely escape the pull of the middlebrow? Tsinfandel (talk) 01:40, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

What are the criteria for the award?[edit]

This page seems like it should include the judging criteria. (talk) 17:31, 31 March 2010 (UTC)


I removed the following because its nonsensical as well as improper to state "pull it sir" as a pronunciation guide.

"According to the administrators of the Pulitzer Prize the correct pronunciation of the name should sound like the verb pull, as in "Pull it, sir"[2]"'

= (talk) 10:00, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Major and lesser prizes[edit]

I will probably start creating templates for the journalism side by next weekend. I am wondering if any Pulitzer Prizes are considered more major than others. For example in the Grammy Awards there is an award for Grammy Award for Album of the Year. There are also Album of the year awards for numerous specific styles of music. Obviously, winning the Album of the Year is more significant than winning Album of the Year for a specific style of music. I want to understand if any Pulitzers are considered much less significant than others.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 02:27, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

Needs serious editing[edit]

Whoever wrote this essay obviously is not a Pulitzer Prize candidate. Why a separate paragraph for his daugher's death? Needs a separate paragraph about his personal life, including marriage and children. Needs other editing as well. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:34, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

"The board"[edit]

(This was raised back in 2007 without any apparent resolution)

--see 2007, #Independent board -P64

Near the start of the article it says:

"The board selects the winner by majority vote from the nominations or bypass the nominations and select a different entry with a 75% majority vote. The board can also vote no award. The board gets no compensation for its work."

What board is this? Who appoints them? ... --SGBailey (talk) 14:20, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

That quotation is from section 1.0; the Board is covered in section 5. The early reference needs a wikilink to the later section.
The first paragraph of section 5 Pulitzer Prize#Board says, "The board makes all prize decisions.[4]" (Topping, 2008). But section 8 Pulitzer Prize#Controversies the trustees of Columbia University overruled the board in 1962 (Hohenberg, 1997). These notes need either correction or confirmation with explanation, presumably at least a date after 1962 when the Prize board supposedly became the final arbiter. --P64 (talk) 15:05, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Repeat winners[edit]

The list of people who have won more than one prize is not complete. But it is now complete, subject to my clerical errors, for repeat winners within 12 of the 21 current categories.

(duplicates my comment atop section 3.1) !--2013-12-26 believed complete for winners of two prizes within any one of the 7 arts & letters categories; also Commentary Criticism EditorialCartooning EditorialWriting FeatureWriting, ie 5 journalism categories-->

The numbers of repeat winners in the five listed journalism categories are 0, 0, 17, 0, and 1.

For those twelve categories (and no others on my part) the prize articles --which include complete lists of winners, commonly with citations-- now also identify repeat winners completely.

I do not expect to cover defunct categories or the other 9 current categories: Public Service (won primarily by newspapers), two photography prizes, and six reporting prizes. --P64 (talk) 00:05, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

I rearranged the list of repeat winners in two columns, winners of two prizes for arts and letters (left, complete) and winners of two prizes for journalism (right, incomplete). We have not identified any winner of both a prize for arts and letters and a prize for journalism.
Nelson Harding is the only consecutive repeat winner we have identified (#Multiple winners, above) and I called him the only in the section preface. During the course of this work I deleted all other annotations about timing such as "(two in a four-year period)". I also replaced the word 'for' with a comma in every listing.
The winners of two prizes for journalism (right column) are complete within each of five current categories, namely Commentary[no repeats] Criticism[none] Editorial Cartooning[17] Editorial Writing[none] and Feature Writing[1].
This section is complete within all of those 12 PPrizes whose Pulitzer Prize winners subcategories I completed in December. I haven't worked on PP winners since then and don't anticipate working on the other PPrizes for journalism that now commonly recognize named people --the prizes for reporting (including the old Correspondence prize) and for photography.
--P64 (talk) 21:42, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
emphasis added now
More accurately: the five journalism prizes listed above and all seven current arts and letters prizes, plus "the Novel" (1918-1947) for which we have categories distinct from "Fiction" (1948–present). Also the Special prizes for arts and letters as opposed to journalism, whose winner biographies are the ' Pages in category "Pulitzer Prize winners" ' under Pulitzer Prize winners. Subject to my clerical error, that is, none of those Special prize winners (now 21) won any other PPrize.
Those same PPrizes are covered in all of our winner biographies (about 700 pages). None is in a Pulitzer category without mention in the body of the article with a reference (in prose, usually, or in a list of awards/honors). Nor do we have any winner biographies (bluelinks) where the Pulitzer coverage is missing.--as of December 2013.
The other PPrizes, which I did not check for people that should be listed on this page as multiple winners, are identically those whose known winner biographies (about 300 pages) may be in a Pulitzer category without coverage in the article, and those whose winner biographies (bluelinks) may be missing from Pulitzer categories.
--P64 (talk) 20:02, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

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  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ This pronunciation, starting off like the verb pull, is preferred by the Pulitzer website. However, /ˈpjuːlɨtsər/, starting off like pew, is also quite common, and attested in the major British and American dictionaries.