Iowa-Affiliated Pulitzer Prize Winners

Iowa-Related Pulitzer Prize Winners for Letters and Drama:

 

Biography and Autobiography

Benjamin Lawrence Reid, 1969 – Won for The Man From New York: John Quinn and His Friends. Taught at Iowa State University (May 3, 1918 – November 30, 1990). Learn More Here. 

Charles Edward Russell, 1928 – Won for The American Orchestra and Theodore Thomas. Born in Davenport, Iowa (September 25, 1860 – April 23, 1941). Learn More Here.

Hamlin Garland, 1922 – Won for A Daughter of the Middle Border. Lived on a farm between Osage and St. Ansgar, Iowa (September 14, 1860 – March 4, 1940). Learn More Here.

Fiction

Andrew Sean Greer, 2018 – Won for Less. Taught at The Iowa Writers’ Workshop (November 21, 1970 – ). Learn More Here. 

Paul Harding, 2010 – Won for Tinkers. Received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and taught writing at the University of Iowa (December 19, 1967 – ). Learn More Here.

Marilynne Robinson, 2005 – Won for Gilead. Lives in Iowa City, teaches at the Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa Faculty (November 26, 1943 – ). Learn More Here.

Michael Cunningham, 1999 – Won for The Hours. MFA from Iowa Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa alumni (November 6, 1952 – ). Learn More Here. 

Phillip Roth, 1998 – Won for American Pastoral. Taught Creative Writing at the University of Iowa (March 19, 1933 – May 22, 2018). Learn More Here.

Robert Olen Butler, 1993 – Won for A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain. Received his MFA from the University of Iowa (January 20, 1945 – ). Learn More Here.

Jane Smiley, 1992 – Won for A Thousand Acres. Received an MA and her PhD from the University of Iowa, taught at Iowa State University (September 26, 1949 – ). Learn More Here.

John Cheever, 1979 – Won for The Stories of John Cheever. Taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa Faculty (May 27, 1912 – June 18, 1982). Learn More Here.

James Alan McPherson, 1978 – Won for Elbow Room. Attended and taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, University of Iowa alumni and faculty, initial recipient of Iowa UNESCO City of Literature’s Paul Engle Award in 2011 (September 16, 1943 – July 27, 2016). Learn More Here.

Wallace Stegner, 1972 – Won for Angle of Repose. Born in Lake Mills, Iowa, received a master’s degree and a doctorate from the University of Iowa (February 18, 1909 – April 13, 1993). Learn More Here.

MacKinlay Kantor, 1956 – Won for Angersonville. Born in Webster City, Iowa (February 4, 1904 – October 11, 1977). Learn More Here.

Robert Penn Warren, 1947 – Won for All the King’s Men. Taught at the University of Iowa starting in 1941 (April 24, 1905 – September 15, 1989). 

Josephine Johnson, 1935 – Won for Now in November. Taught at the University of Iowa (June 20, 1910 – February 27, 1990). 

Edna Ferber, 1925 – Won for So Big. Lived briefly in Ottumwa, Iowa as a child (August 15, 1885 – April 16, 1968). 

Margaret Wilson, 1924 – Won for The Able McLaughlins. Born in Traer, Iowa (January 16, 1882 – October 6, 1973).

Drama

Nilo Cruz, 2003 – Won for Anna in the Tropics. Taught at the University of Iowa (1960 – ). Learn More Here. 

Margaret Edson, 1999 – Won for Wit. Lived in Iowa City briefly (July 4, 1961 – ). Learn More Here.

Tennessee Williams, 1955 – Won for Cat on A Hot Tin Roof. Received a BA in English from the University of Iowa (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983). Learn More Here.

Susan Glaspell, 1931 – Won for Alison’s House. Born in Davenport, Iowa (July 1, 1876 – July 28, 1948). Learn More Here.

Poetry

Forrest Gander, 2019 – Won for Be With. Co-authored a book with John Kinsella, Redstart: An Ecological Poetics and published it with University of Iowa Press in 2012. Was an Iowa Writers’ Workshop faculty member (January 21, 1956 – ). Learn More Here.

Ted Kooser, 2005 – Won for Delights & Shadows. Born in Ames, Iowa and earned a BS at Iowa State University (April 25, 1939 – ). Learn More Here.

Mark Strand, 1999 – Won for Blizzard of One. Attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop earning his MA. Taught at the University of Iowa for the three years following his graduation (April 11, 1934 – November 9, 2014). Learn More Here.

Charles Wright, 1998 – Won for Black Zodiac. Attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa (August 25, 1935 – ). Learn More Here.

Jorie Graham, 1996 – Won for The Dream of the Unified Field. Attended the Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop, long-time University of Iowa faculty member (May 9, 1950 – ). Learn More Here.

Phillip Levine, 1995 – Won for The Simple Truth. Attended the University of Iowa for his undergraduate studies, earned his MFA there, and also taught technical writing there (January 10, 1928 – February 14, 2015). Learn More Here.

Louise Glück 1993 – Won for The Wild Iris. Taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa (April 22, 1943 – ). Learn More Here.

James Tate, 1992 – Won for Selected Poems. Attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa and earned his MFA there. Later taught at the Writers’ Workshop (December 8, 1943 – July 8, 2015). Learn More Here.

Mona Van Duyn, 1991 – Won for Near Changes. Born in Waterloo, Iowa, earned a BA from the Iowa State Teacher’s College (University of Northern Iowa) and earned her MA and PhD from the University of Iowa (May 9, 1921 – December 2, 2004). Learn More Here.

Rita Dove, 1987 – Won for Thomas and Beulah. Iowa Writers’ Workshop alumni (August 28, 1952 – ). Learn More Here.

Carolyn Kizer, 1985 – Won for Yin. Faculty member at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa (December 10, 1925 – October 9, 2014). Learn More Here. 

Galway Kinnell, 1983 – Won for Selected Poems. Faculty member at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa (February 1, 1927 – October 28, 2014). Learn More Here.

Donald Justice, 1980 – Won for Selected Poems. Earned his doctorate from the University of Iowa, longtime faculty member of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (August 12, 1925 – August 6, 2004). Learn More Here.

Robert Penn Warren, 1979 and 1958 for Poetry – Won for Now and Then and Promise: Poems 1954-1956. University of Iowa faculty (April 24, 1905 – September 15, 1989). Learn More Here And Here.

Robert Lowell, 1974 – Won for The Dolphin. Iowa Writers’ Workshop faculty at the University of Iowa (March 1, 1917 – September 12, 1977). Learn More Here.

Anthony Hecht, 1968 – Won for The Hard Hours. University of Iowa alumni, Iowa Writers’ Workshop faculty at the University of Iowa (January 16, 1923 – October 20, 2004). Learn More Here.

John Berryman, 1965 – Won for 77 Dream Songs. Iowa Writers’ Workshop faculty at the University of Iowa (October 25, 1914 – January 7, 1972). Learn More Here.

W.D. Snodgrass, 1960 – Won for Heart’s Needle. University of Iowa and Iowa Writers’ Workshop alumni (January 5, 1926 – January 13, 2009). Learn More Here.

Karl Shapiro, 1945 – Won for V-Letter and Other Poems. University of Iowa faculty (November 10, 1923 – May 14, 2000). Learn More Here.

General Non-Fiction

Tracy Kidder, 1982 – Won for The Soul of a New Machine. Alumni of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa (November 12, 1945 – ). Learn More Here.

History

Mark E. Neely Jr., 1992 – Won for The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties. Visiting Instructor at Iowa State University from 1971-1972 (November 10, 1944 – ). Learn More Here.

Oliver Waterman Larkin, 1950 – Won for Art and Life in America. Faculty at Iowa State University in 1925-26 (August 17, 1896 – December 17, 1970). Learn More Here.

Marcus Lee Hansen, 1941 – Won for The Atlantic Migration, 1607-1860. Earned his BA from Central College in Pella, Iowa and then his MA at the University of Iowa (December 8, 1892 – May 11, 1938). Learn More Here.

Frank Luther Mott, 1939 – Won for A History of American Magazines. Born in Rose Hill, Iowa, taught at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa and was the head of the journalism department for twenty years at the University of Iowa (April 4, 1886 – October 23, 1964). Learn More Here.

Fred Albert Shannon, 1929 – Won for The Organization and Administration of the Union Army. Faculty at Iowa Wesleyan College, earned his PhD from the University of Iowa, and was a member of the faculty at Iowa State Teacher’s College, also known as University of Northern Iowa (February 12, 1893 – June 4, 1963). Learn More Here.

 

Iowa-Related Pulitzer Prize Winners for Journalism:

 

Public Service

Thomas J. Knudson, 1992 – Won for “The Sierra in Peril,” which examined environmental threats and damage to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. He graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelors in Journalism. Also won a Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting. (July 6, 1953 – ). Learn More Here. 

Jane Schorer from Des Moines Register, 1991 – Won for reporting, with the victim’s consent, the name of a woman who had been raped, which created reconsideration of the traditional practice of concealing the identity of rape victims. Jane Schorer graduated from Drake University and lives in Urbandale, Iowa. Learn More Here. 

Cedar Rapids Gazette, 1936 – Won for its crusade against corruption and misgovernment in the State of Iowa. Learn More Here.

National Reporting

Thomas J. Knudson, 1985 – Won for a series of articles that examined the dangers of farming as an occupation. He wrote for the Des Moines Register. Also won a Pulitzer Prize in Public Service                (July 6, 1953 – ). Learn More Here.

James Risser, 1979 and 1976 – Won for a series of farming damage to the environment, and won for disclosing large-scale corruption in the American grain exporting trade. He wrote for the Des Moines Register. (1946 – ) Learn More Here And Here.

Nathan K. (Nick) Kotz, 1968 – Won for reporting of unsanitary conditions in many meat packing plants, helping unsure the passage of the Federal Wholesome Meat Act of 1967. He wrote for the Des Moines Register and Minneapolis Tribune. (September 16, 1932 – ). Learn More Here.

Clark Mollenhoff, 1958 – Won for persistent inquiry into labor racketeering, which included investigatory reporting of wide significance. He wrote for the Des Moines Register and Tribune. Born in Burnside, Iowa and graduated from Drake University law school (April 16, 1921 – March 2, 1991). Learn More Here.

Richard Wilson, 1954 – Won for exclusive publication of the FBI Report to the White House in the Harry Dexter White case before it was laid before the Senate by J. edgar Hoover. He wrote for the Des Moines Register and Tribune. Attended the University of Iowa. (September 3, 1905 – January 18, 1981). Learn More Here. 

Feature Writing

John Camp (John Sandford), 1986 – Won for his five-part series examining the life of an American farm family faced with the worst U.S. agricultural crisis since the Depression. Born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and attended the University of Iowa. (February 23, 1944 – ). Learn More Here. 

Commentary

Marquis Childs, 1970 – Received Pulitzer for distinguished commentary during 1969. Born in Clinton Iowa and taught at the University of Iowa. (March 17, 1903 – June 30, 1990). Learn More Here. 

Criticism

Frank Peters Jr., 1972 – Received Pulitzer for music criticism during 1971. Attended Iowa State University after two years in the Army. (October 19, 1930 – September 14, 2007). Learn More Here. 

Editorial Writing

Andie Dominick, 2018 – Won for examining the damaging consequences for poor Iowa residents of privatizing the state’s administration of Medicaid. He is an editorial writer of The Des Moines Register. Earned a Master’s Degree in English at Iowa State University. Learn More Here.

Art Cullen, 2017 – Won for successfully challenging powerful corporate agricultural interests in Iowa. He is an editorial writer of The Storm Lake Times, a family-run newspaper in Storm Lake, Iowa (1958 – ). Learn More Here.

Michael Gartner, 1997 – Won for editorials about issues deeply affecting the lives of people in his community. He was an editorial writer of The Daily Tribune, a newspaper based in Ames, Iowa. He was born in Des Moines, Iowa and was the president of the Iowa Board of Regents. (October 25, 1938 – ). Learn More Here. 

Robert L. Bartley, 1980 – Won while he was an editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal. He grew up in Ames, Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. (October 12, 1937 – December 10, 2003). Learn More Here. 

Lauren K. Soth, 1956 – Won for inviting a farm delegation from the Sobiet Union to visit Iowa, which led directly to the Russian farm visit to the U.S. He was an editorial writer for Register and Tribune in Des Moines, Iowa. Born in Sibley, iowa and attended Iowa State University. (October 2, 1910 – February 9, 1998). Learn More Here.

Forrest W. Seymour, 1943 – Won for his editorials published during the calendar year of 1942. He was an editorial writer for Register and Tribune in Des Moines, Iowa (July 10, 1905 – October 3, 1983). Learn More Here.

William Wesley Waymack, 1938 – Won for his distinguished editorial writing during the year. He was an editorial writer for Register and Tribune in Des Moines, Iowa (October 18, 1888 – November 5, 1960). Learn More Here.

 E.P. Chase, 1934 – Won for “Where Is Our Money?” He was an editorial writer of Atlantic (IA) News-Telegraph. Learn More Here. 

Editorial Cartooning

Paul Conrad, 1984, 1971, 1964 – Won twice with the Los Angeles Times and once with The Denver Post. He was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. He attended the University of iowa where he was a cartoonist for the Daily Iowan. (June 27, 1924 – September 4, 2010). Learn More Here. Here. And Here. 

Dick Locher, 1983 – Won for work with the Chicago Tribune. Born in Dubuque, Iowa and studied at the University of Iowa. (June 4, 1929 – August 6, 2017). Learn More Here. 

Frank Miller, 1963 – Won for a cartoon which showed a world destroyed with one ragged figure calling to another: “I said we sure settled that dispute, didn’t we” He worked for the Des Moines Register. (1926 – February 17, 1983) Learn More Here.

Robert York, 1956 – Won for the cartoon, “Achilles” showing a bulging figure of American prosperity tapering to a weak hell labeled “Farm Prices.” He worked for The Louisville Times at the time of receiving the Pulitzer. Also worked for the Chicago Tribune and Nashville Banner. Grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and attended Drake University. (August 23, 1909 – May 21, 1975). Learn More Here. 

Jay Norwood Darling, 1943 and 1924 – Won for “What a Place For a Waster Paper Salvage Campaign” and fpr “In Good Old USA.” He worked for the Des Moines Register and Tribune. His family moved to Sioux City, Iowa in 1886. Also, Lake Darling State Park in Washington, Iowa is named after him. (October 21, 1876 – February 12, 1962). Learn More Here  And Here.

Breaking News Photography

Mary Chind, 2010 – Won for her photograph of a rescuer dangling in a makeshift harness trying to save a woman trapped in the foaming water beneath a dam. She was a photographer for the Des Moines Register. Lives in Altoona, Iowa and is now working independently. (May 29, 1967 – ) Learn More Here.

Feature Photography:

David Peterson, 1987 – Won for his photographs depicting the shattered dreams of American farmers. He was a photographer for the Des Moines Register.  Learn More Here. 

Dallas Kinney, 1970 – Won for his portfolio of pictures of Florida migrant workers, “Migration to Misery.” He was a photographer for the Palm Beach Post. Born in Buckeye, Iowa and worked (1937 – N/a). Learn More Here. 

Photography

John Robinson and Don Ultang, 1952 – Won for For their sequence of 6 pictures of the Drake-Oklahoma A & M football game of October 20, 1951, in which player Johnny Bright’s jaw was broken. They worked for the Des Moines Register and Tribune. (1907 – 1972) (March 23, 1917 – September 18, 2008). Learn More Here.