Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography

The Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It has been presented since 1917 for a distinguished biography or autobiography by an American author or co-authors, published during the preceding calendar year. Thus it is one of the original Pulitzers, for the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year.[1]

Finalists have been announced from 1980, ordinarily two others beside the winner.[2]


In its first 97 years to 2013, the Biography Pulitzer was awarded 97 times. Two were given in 1938, none in 1962.[2]









Entries from this point on include the finalists listed after the winner for each year.




Repeat winners

No one has won the Pulitzer for Biography or Autobiography three times. Eleven people have won two:

W. A. Swanberg was selected by the Pulitzer board in 1962 and 1973 but the trustees overturned the 1962 prize for Citizen Hearst.[3]

See also


  1. "1917 Winners". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
  2. 1 2 "Biography or Autobiography". The Pulitzer Prizes (pulitzer.org). Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  3. 1 2 In 1962 the Pulitzer board awarded the prize to W.A. Swanberg for Citizen Hearst. The trustees of Columbia University, who administer the prize, overturned the award, refusing to honor a book that took a critical look at William Randolph Hearst.
      McDowell, Edwin. "Publishing: Pulitzer Controversies". The New York Times. May 11, 1984: C26.
  4. "Biography or Autobiography". The Pulitzer Prizes. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
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