First awarded on June 4, 1917 and named for Joseph Pulitzer, the Pulitzer Prizes measure excellence in journalism, literary achievements, and musical composition.
Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American newspaper publisher and journalist, was the first to express the need to train journalists at the university level. In 1904, Pulitzer’s final will granted funds for the establishment of the Pulitzer Prizes as an incentive to achieve excellence in journalism, drama, and education. Since its inception, the winning categories have been increased to include poetry, music, and photography. There are now a total of 21 categories.
Award recipients are announced each April. Unlike the Nobel Prize, a medal is not always given to the winners of the Pulitzer Prize. In twenty of the Pulitzer categories, winners receive a $10,000 cash award. Only the winning newspaper in the Public Service category of the Journalism competition is awarded a gold medal.
Pulitzer Prize winners have included: writer Ernest Hemingway, film critic Roger Ebert, writer Toni Morrison, musician Bob Dylan, and playwright Thornton Wilder, who has won three.