Aretha Franklin, Annapolis’ Capital Gazette Win Special Pulitzer Prizes

New York Times and Wall Street Journal were also honored for their coverage of President Trump

Aretha Franklin
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Aretha Franklin and Annapolis’ Capital Gazette were honored with special Pulitzer Prizes from the 2019 Pulitzer Prize committee on Monday during a ceremony announcing the winners of this year’s honors.

Franklin, who died last year from complications of a pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, took home the special honor “for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades.”

The Capital Gazette, where a shooting last June left five dead in its Annapolis, Maryland newsroom, was singled out for praise as well “for their courageous response to the largest killing of journalists in U.S. history in their newsroom on June 28, 2018, and for demonstrating unflagging commitment to covering the news and serving their community at a time of unspeakable grief.”

The award for the Gazette also came with a $100,000 bequest “to be used to further the newspaper’s journalistic mission.”

Both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal took won awards for their tough coverage of President Trump. For the Times, David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner shared the award in the Explanatory Reporting category for their 18-month investigation into the finances and tax dodges of Donald Trump’s real estate empire.

The Journal’s entire staff, meanwhile, shared a commendation for their reporting on “President Trump’s secret payoffs to two women during his campaign who claimed to have had affairs with him, and the web of supporters who facilitated the transactions.”

Other outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Reuters and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel also received awards from the judges this year.

You can the full winner’s list below:


Public Service: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Breaking News Reporting: Staff of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Investigative Reporting: Matt Hamilton, Harriet Ryan and Paul Pringle of the Los Angeles Times

Explanatory Reporting: David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner of The New York Times

Local Reporting: Staff of The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.

National Reporting: Staff of The Wall Street Journal

International Reporting: Maggie Michael, Maad al-Zikry and Nariman El-Mofty of Associated Press

International Reporting: Staff of Reuters, with notable contributions from Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo

Feature Writing: Hannah Dreier of ProPublica

Commentary: Tony Messenger of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Criticism: Carlos Lozada of The Washington Post

Editorial Writing: Brent Staples of The New York Times

Editorial Cartooning: Darrin Bell, freelancer

Breaking News Photography: Photography Staff of Reuters

Feature Photography: Lorenzo Tugnoli of The Washington Post

Letters, Drama and Music

Fiction: The Overstory, by Richard Powers (W.W. Norton)

Drama: Fairview, by Jackie Sibblies Drury

History: Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, by David W. Blight (Simon & Schuster)

Biography: The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, by Jeffrey C. Stewart (Oxford University Press)

Poetry: Be With, by Forrest Gander (New Directions)

General Nonfiction: Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America, by Eliza Griswold (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Music: p r i s m, by Ellen Reid

Special Citations

Capital Gazette

Aretha Franklin