What Is the Pulitzer & How Much Money Does an Individual Win?

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The Pulitzer Prize is a prestigious prize that honors achievement in fields of American literature, journalism, and musical composition. The award was established by Joseph Pulitzer in his will and was first awarded in 1917, six years after his death.


The number of Pulitzer categories has fluctuated over the years, but there are currently 21 categories. There are 14 journalism categories (ranging from local news to editorial cartoons) and seven in "Letters, Drama, and Music." The journalism categories include both print and online publications.

Past Winners

Some of the greatest American minds of the past century have won Pulitzer Prizes. Past winners include John F. Kennedy, Tennessee Williams, Norman Mailer, William Faulkner, and Ernest Hemmingway. To be considered for a Pulitzer, hopefuls must submit an application to the Pulitzer Prize board.

Cash Awards

Every year, the winner in the Public Service in Journalism category receives an iconic Pulitzer Prize gold medal. This particular award is given to a newspaper, rather than an individual person. The other category winners receive a cash prize of $10,000 each as well as a certificate.


About the Author

As a professional journalist since 1998, Lisbeth Booth has worked as a writer and an editor at several magazines. Her career has focused on music and film criticism but she has also written about lifestyle topics such as parenting and home design. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Calgary.

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