The Pulitzer PrizeWe are honored that many J-School alumni and current faculty have won the Pulitzer Prize. Bestowed for excellence in journalism and the arts since 1917, the Pulitzers were established by provisions in the will of publisher Joseph Pulitzer. Prizes are awarded yearly in at least 20 categories.

The J-School alumni listed below have received the Pulitzer Prize in their own name or as part of a group (noted with * by their name).

The School recognizes there are many alum that have contributed to Pulitzer Prize winning work through their leadership roles in newsrooms and organizations. While they are not listed by name, we are proud of the impact ALL of our alum have throughout the media landscape, making a difference in our communities each and every day.

If you are an alumni and we have missed your achievement, please send us a note to:

Winners: J-School current/emeritus faculty

  • 2015: POY Director and Director of Photojournalism at RJI Lynden Steele*, BJ ’94, as part of Photography Staff of St. Louis Post Dispatch, Breaking News Photography
    • For powerful images of the despair and anger in Ferguson, MO, stunning photojournalism that served the community while informing the country.
  • 1988: Professor Emeritus Jacqui Banaszynski, of St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch,  Feature Writing
    • For her moving series about the life and death of an AIDS victim in a rural farm community.
  • 1982: Professor Randall Smith*, as part of the staff of the Kansas City Star, Local General or Spot News Reporting

Winners: J-School Alumni


  • Chad Day,* BJ ’09, James Grimaldi,* BJ ’84, Coulter Jones,* BJ ’08, part of a 9-member team at The Wall Street Journal, Investigative Reporting
    • Awarded for a seven-part investigative series titled “Capital Assets”. The award is for sharp accountability reporting on financial conflicts of interest among officials at 50 federal agencies, revealing those who bought and sold stocks they regulated and other ethical violations by individuals charged with safeguarding the public’s interest.


  • Dr. Marcia Chatelain, BJ ’01, professor of history and African American studies, History.
    • For Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America, a nuanced account of the complicated role the fast-food industry plays in African-American communities, a portrait of race and capitalism that tastefully illustrates how the fight for civil rights has been intertwined with the fate of Black businesses.
  • Jaimi Dowdell,* BJ ’01, MA ’04, investigative reporter and data journalist with Reuters, Explanatory Reporting.
    • For an exhaustive examination, powered by a pioneering data analysis of U.S. federal court cases, of the obscure legal doctrine of “qualified immunity” and how it shields police who use excessive force from prosecution.
  • Ryan Martin,* BJ ’10, investigative reporter with IndyStar;  Geraldine Sealey,* MA ’99, staff of The Marshall Project; National Reporting.
    • For a year-long investigation of K-9 units and the damage that police dogs inflict on Americans, including innocent citizens and police officers, prompting numerous statewide reforms. The investigation was a done in collaboration with staffs from the IndyStar, The Marshall Project, and Invisible Institute. Martin was lead reporter for IndyStar and Sealey was part of editing team from The Marshall Project.


  • Megan (McCloskey) Rose,* BJ ’04, of ProPublica, National Reporting
    • For their investigation into America’s 7th Fleet after a series of deadly naval accidents in the Pacific.


  • Marina Walker Guevara, MA ’05, of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Explanatory Reporting
    • For the Panama Papers, a series of stories using a collaboration of more than 300 reporters on six continents to expose the hidden infrastructure and global scale of offshore tax havens. The Pulitzer is shared with, and investigation done in collaboration with, McClatchy and Miami Herald.


  • Mary McNamara, BJ ’85, of Los Angeles Times, Criticism
    • For savvy criticism that uses shrewdness, humor and an insider’s view to show how both subtle and seismic shifts in the cultural landscape affect television.


  • Chris Hamby, MA ’10, of The Center for Public Integrity, Investigative Reporting
    • For his reports on how some lawyers and doctors rigged a system to deny benefits to coal miners stricken with black lung disease, resulting in remedial legislative efforts.


  • Elizabeth McGowan,* BJ ’83, of InsideClimate News, National Reporting
    • For their rigorous reports on flawed regulation of the nation’s oil pipelines, focusing on potential ecological dangers posed by diluted bitumen (or “dilbit”), a controversial form of oil.
  • Charles Minshew,* MA ’13, of The Denver Post, Breaking News Reporting
    • For its comprehensive coverage of the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured 58, using journalistic tools, from Twitter and Facebook to video and written reports, both to capture a breaking story and provide context.


  • Alison Sherwood,* BJ ’07, of Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Explanatory Reporting
    • For their lucid examination of an epic effort to use genetic technology to save a 4-year-old boy imperiled by a mysterious disease, told with words, graphics, videos and other images.


  • Barbara Laker,* BJ ’79, of Philadelphia Daily News, Investigative Reporting
    • For their resourceful reporting that exposed a rogue police narcotics squad, resulting in an FBI probe and the review of hundreds of criminal cases tainted by the scandal.


  • Steve Fainaru, BJ ’84, of The Washington Post, International Reporting
    • For his heavily reported series on private security contractors in Iraq that operate outside most of the laws governing American forces.


  • James V. Grimaldi,* BJ ’84, of The Washington Post, Investigative Reporting
    • For their indefatigable probe of Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff that exposed congressional corruption and produced reform efforts.


  • Jeff Leen,* MA ’82, Jo Craven McGinty,* MA ’97, of The Washington Post, Public Service
    • For its series that identified and analyzed patterns of reckless gunplay by city police officers who had little training or supervision.


  • Jeff Leen,* MA ’82, of The Miami Herald, Public Service
    • For coverage that not only helped readers cope with Hurricane Andrew’s devastation but also showed how lax zoning, inspection and building codes had contributed to the destruction.


  • Mike McGraw,* BJ ’71, MA ’72, of Kansas City Star, National Reporting
    • For their critical examination of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


  • Mary Ann Gwinn,* MA ’79, of The Seattle Times, National Reporting
    • For coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill and its aftermath.


  • Manny Crisostomo, BJ ’82, of Detroit Free Press, Feature Photography
    • For his series of photographs depicting student life at Southwestern High School in Detroit.


  • Kim Komenich, MA ’07, of San Francisco Examiner, Spot News Photography
    • For his photographic coverage of the fall of Ferdinand Marcos.
  • Fredric N. Tulsky,* BJ ’72, of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Investigative Reporting
    • For their series “Disorder in the Court,” which revealed transgressions of justice in the Philadelphia court system and led to federal and state investigations.


  • Pam Johnson,* BJ ’69, as part of the staff of the Kansas City Star, Local General or Spot News Reporting
    • For coverage of the Hyatt Regency Hotel disaster and identification of its causes. Pulitzer shared between the staff of the Kansas City Star and the Kansas City Times.
  • Saul Pett, BJ ’40, Associated Press, Feature Writing
    • For an article profiling the federal bureaucracy.


  • Teresa Carpenter, MA ’75, of The Village of Voice, New York, NY, Feature Writing
    • (The prize was first awarded to Janet Cooke of The Washington Post, but it was returned two days later after The Post learned that the winning story was fabricated.)
  • Andre Stepankowsky,* MA ’78, as part of the staff of Longview (WA) Daily News, Local General or Spot News Reporting
    • For its coverage of the Mt. St. Helens story, including the photographs by Roger A. Werth.


  • Ronald Powers, BJ ’63, of Chicago Sun-Times, Criticism
    • For his critical writing about television during 1972.


  • Paul Greenberg, BJ ’58, of Pine Bluff (AR) Commercial, Editorial Writing
    • For his editorials during 1968.
  • Albert L. Delugach, BJ ’51, and Denny Walsh, BJ ’62, of St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Local Investigative Specialized Reporting
    • For their campaign against fraud and abuse of power within the St. Louis Steamfitters Union, Local 562.


  • Stanley Penn,* BJ ’49, of The Wall Street Journal, National Reporting
    • For their investigative reporting of the connection between American crime and gambling in the Bahamas.


  • Haynes Johnson, BJ ’52, of Washington Evening Star, National Reporting
    • For his distinguished coverage of the civil rights conflict centered about Selma, Ala., and particularly his reporting of its aftermath.


  • Louis M. Kohlmeier, BJ ’50, of The Wall Street Journal, National Reporting
    • For his enterprise in reporting the growth of the fortune of President Lyndon B. Johnson and his family.


  • Wallace Turner,* BJ ’50, of Portland Oregonian, Local Reporting – No Edition Time
    • For their expose of vice and corruption in Portland involving some municipal officials and officers of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Chauffeurs, Warehousemen and Helpers of America, Western Conference. They fulfilled their assignments despite great handicaps and the risk of reprisal from lawless elements.


  • Lee Hills, JOURN ’29, of Detroit Free Press, Local Reporting – Edition Time
    • For his aggressive, resourceful and comprehensive front page reporting of the United Automobile Workers’ negotiations with Ford and General Motors for a guaranteed annual wage.


  • Harold V. (Hal) Boyle, BJ ’32, of Associated Press, Correspondence
    • For distinguished war correspondence during the year 1944.