Pulitzer Prize winners announced

Tuesday, April 8, 2003

— The Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post each won three Pulitzer Prizes on Monday, and The Boston Globe won the prestigious Public Service gold medal for its coverage of sex-abuse scandals plaguing the Roman Catholic Church.

The Globe's tenacious reporting "stirred local, national and international reaction and produced changes in the Roman Catholic Church," including the resignation last year of Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, according to Pulitzer judges.


AP Photo

Columbia University announced that Don Bartletti of the Los Angeles Times won a Pulitzer for feature photography -- including this image -- for his portrayal of how undocumented Central American youths travel north to the United States. The Pulitzers were announced Monday.

Los Angeles Times reporters Kevin Sack and Alan Miller won the national reporting award for their investigation of a military aircraft, the Harrier, that is linked to the deaths of 45 Marine pilots. In response to the stories -- which judges called "revelatory and moving" -- the chairmen of two key panels in the House of Representatives have pledged to hold hearings on the safety of military aviation, focusing on the Harrier.

Los Angeles Times reporter Sonia Nazario won the feature writing award for "Enrique's Journey," a series of stories about a Honduran boy's search for his mother, who had migrated to the United States. Judges called the work "touching" and "exhaustively reported."

Don Bartletti, the Times photographer for "Enrique's Journey," won the Pulitzer for feature photography. Jurors praised his work as a memorable portrayal of how undocumented Central American youths travel north to the United States, despite tremendous dangers.

At The Washington Post, reporters Kevin Sullivan and Mary Jordan, a married couple, won the international reporting award for stories about Mexico's criminal justice system, a series which judges praised for their "exposure of horrific conditions ... and how they affect the daily lives of people."

The Post's film critic, Stephen Hunter, won the award for criticism that judges called "authoritative ... both intellectually rewarding and a pleasure to read." And Post columnist Colbert I. King won the prize for commentary that jurors said "speaks to people in power with ferocity and wisdom." The Post has now won 40 Pulitzer Prizes.

'Years of diligence'

Los Angeles Times Editor John Carroll, a longtime Pulitzer judge, said he had watched the prize process for years and had seen first-hand how they were awarded.

"Sometimes they are won with a large element of luck and sometimes they are won with years of diligence to the craft, of care, of hard work. I can tell you all four of these individual winners fall into the latter category," Carroll said.

Other winners included The New York Times' Clifford Levy, for investigative reporting about the abuse of mentally ill people in New York state-regulated homes.

The staff of The Wall Street Journal won the explanatory reporting award for stories about corporate corruption; The Baltimore Sun's Diana Sugg won for beat reporting about stories that judges said "illuminated complex medical medical issues through the lives of people"; the staff of The Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, Mass., won for breaking news coverage of the accidental drownings of four boys in the Merrimack River.

The photography staff of The Rocky Mountain News in Denver won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for images of Colorado's forest fires. David Horsey of the Seattle-Post Intelligencer was honored for editorial cartoons that judges said showed "a distinctive style and sense of humor." Cornelia Grumman of the Chicago Tribune won the editorial prize for "powerful, freshly challenging" editorials against the death penalty.

Other Pulitzer awards

The 2003 Pulitzer Prizes in letters were awarded Monday to a study of international genocide, a history of the American Army in North Africa, a biography of Lyndon Johnson, a fictional Greek American saga and the poetry of a lyrical, Irish-born writer who now teaches in America.

Robert A. Caro won his second Pulitzer Prize in biography, this one for "Master of the Senate" (Knopf), his third in a planned four-volume work on the life of Lyndon Johnson.

Critics have hailed "Master of the Senate" as an unprecedented revelation of how legislative power works, how Johnson managed to make it work, and how he used his political magic to ascend to the presidency. Known for his immaculate research, Caro is just as concerned with the writing. "There's almost a view that if it's well written it can't be good history," he told the Los Angeles Times in 2002. "In my view, it's not good history unless it's well written."

The award for fiction was given to Jeffrey Eugenides, author of "Middlesex" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), a mythic trans-Atlantic tale of Greek family life as lived in Grosse Pointe, Mich., and narrated by a delightfully ironic hermaphrodite. The book's protagonist, Calliope, was born and raised as a girl but found as a teenager that he was genetically a male. Becoming Cal, he omnisciently narrates the family's history beyond his own life.

"An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-43" (Henry Holt) by war correspondent Rick Atkinson, won the Pulitzer Prize for history. Atkinson received the news in Iraq where he is embedded with the 101st Airborne for The Washington Post. "This is so fabulous. I'm hot and tired and filthy and completely thrilled," he told Associated Press on Monday.

Samantha Power, who heads the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard, has won the prize for general nonfiction. Her book, "A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide" (Basic Books) is a social history that examines America's failure to intervene in mass killings through history.

The prize for poetry was won by postmodernist writer Paul Muldoon, 51, who moved to the United States from Ireland in 1987, and who directs the creative writing program at Princeton. His book, "Moy, Sand and Gravel" (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), won rave reviews internationally.