Columbia Alumni Pulitzer Prize Winners

In honor of year's Pulitzer Prize announcements on April 18 at Columbia Journalism School, we looked back at some Columbians who have won the coveted prize throughout the years.


Here are the Columbia alumni who won a Pulitzer Prize this year:

Cara Fitzpatrick '06JRN - 
Staff Writer, Tampa Bay Times

Awarded to Cara D. Fitzpatrick and two other reporters at the Tampa Bay Times for exposing a local school board's culpability in turning some county schools into failure factories, with tragic consequences for the community.


Sanghamitra Kalita '00JRN - Managing Editor of Los Angeles Times 

Awarded to Sanghamitra Kalita in the Breaking News Reporting category for the L.A Times coverage of the San Bernardino shooting that occurred on December 2 last year and the terror investigation that followed.

Alissa Rubin '85GSAS - Paris Bureau Chief, New York Times

Awarded to Alissa J. Rubin of the New York Times for thoroughly reported and movingly written accounts giving voice to Afghan women who were forced to endure unspeakable cruelties.

                                                                                (Photo: New York Times)

T. J. Stiles '88, '91GSAS - Freelance writer

Awarded to T.J. Stiles for his book, Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America.



The following Columbia alumni won the prize in years past:


Brian Yorkey '93CC and Tom Kitt '96CC

                                                                            (Photo: Columbia College)

The College alumni won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2010 for the Tony-winning musical Next to NormalYorkey was the play's lyricist and Kitt the composer.

"I think we wanted to take chances," Yorkey told Playbill after their win. "We wanted to write something that wasn't safe and didn't seem on the face of it like a commercial hit.


Eric Foner '63CC, '69GSAS

                                                         (Photo: Columbia Center for Teaching and Learning)

Foner, the Dewitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia, won the 2011 history Pulitzer Prize for his book, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. The book tells the story of Lincoln's—and the nation's—transformation through slavery and emancipation. 


Vijay Seshadri '88SOA

The School of Arts alumnus and poet won the prize in 2014 for his collection of poems "3 Sections."   Seshadri teaches poetry and nonfiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College in New York.


Margo Jefferson '71JRN 

                                                                                (Photo: The Nation)

Jefferson, who is on faculty at Columbia School of the Arts, won the Pulitzer in 1995 for her book reviews in The New York Times. Last fall, Jefferson spoke with Columbia about her new memoir Negroland.


David Philipps '02JRN

The journalism alumnus and reporter at The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colorado, won the prize in 2014 for his reporting that examined how soldiers discharged during war were discharged without benefits.


Richard Howard '51CC


Howard, a professor emeritus of professional practice at Columbia and School of the Arts faculty member, won the Pulitzer for Poetry in 1969 for his book, Untitled Subjects. 


Nigel Jaquiss '97JRN

(Photo: YouTube via Bloomberg)

The Portland, OR-based Journalism graduate and reporter at Willamette Week was awarded the prize in 2005 for his reporting that exposed sexual assault by former OR Governor Neil Goldschmidt.


Geraldine Brooks '83JRN

                                                                                      (Photo: Twitter)

Brooks' March won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The novel imagines the life of the fictional father in Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. 

Brooks told The New York Times at the time that she was "in a state of disbelief" over her win.

''It's like being struck by lightning,'' she said. 


Carl Schorske '36CC

(Photo: The New York Times)

Schorske, who passed away last fall at age 100, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1981 for general nonfiction for "Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture." The book consists of seven essays, each seating different aspects of intellectual life within the context of a significant period of political ferment and social tumult, The New York Times reported.


Jhumpa Lahiri '89BC

 (Photo: Random House)

Barnard alumna Lahiri won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2000 for her collection of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies

Do you know the only U.S. president to be awarded a Pulitzer? How about what the winners receive? Read our Pulitzer facts hereand tell us in the Community the names of other Columbia alumni who have received the prize.