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Michael Edmonson / Senior Staff Photographer

Kendrick Lamar became the first rapper to be awarded the Pulitzer for Music, winning the prize for his 2017 album DAMN.

University President Lee Bollinger awarded the 102nd annual Pulitzer Prizes—the highest national honors in journalism, literary achievements, and musical composition—on Wednesday in Low Library.

The ceremony was the first to be held under the leadership of Pulitzer Administrator Dana Canedy, who became the first woman, the youngest person, and the first person of color to ever hold the title when she was named to the position in July 2017. Columbia has awarded the prizes since they were created and endowed by Joseph Pulitzer in 1917.

In her welcoming remarks, Canedy commended the journalists in the room for their courageous reporting and their commitment to truth-telling.

“You and your news organizations were undaunted in your mission to support the fourth estate. It is a mandate that has been under relentless assault of late, but that remains essential to our democracy,” she said. “You reminded us why that mandate is vital and you made us incredibly proud.”

The coveted Pulitzer for Public Service was awarded to the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow and the New York Times’ Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, CC ’96. Their reporting on sexual predators, namely Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, spurred a global reckoning over the sexual abuse of women and led to the downfalls of more than 200 powerful and famous men.

Kendrick Lamar was awarded the Pulitzer for Music for his 2017 album DAMN., making history as the first rapper to win the award since its establishment in 1943. The Pulitzer committee described the album as “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”

The Pulitzer for Investigative Reporting went to the Washington Post for changing the course of an Alabama senate race through their reporting on Roy Moore’s history of sexual harassment of teenage girls.

Meanwhile, the Pulitzer for International Reporting went to Clare Baldwin, Andrew R.C. Marshall and Manuel Mogato of Reuters for exposing the killing campaign behind President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

The full list of winners can be found below.

Public Service

The New York Times and the New Yorker

Breaking News Reporting

Staff of the Press Democrat, Santa Rosa, Calif.

Investigative Reporting

Staff of the Washington Post

Explanatory Reporting

Staffs of the Arizona Republic and USA Today Network

Local Reporting

Staff of the Cincinnati Enquirer

National Reporting

Staffs of the New York Times and the Washington Post

International Reporting

Lare Baldwin, Andrew R.C. Marshall and Manuel Mogato (Reuters)

Feature Writing

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah (GQ)


John Archibald (Alabama Media Group)


Jerry Saltz

Editorial Writing

Andie Dominick

Editorial Cartooning

Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan (The New York Times)

Breaking News Photography

Ryan Kelly (The Daily Progress, Charlottesville, Va.)

Feature Photography

Photography Staff of Reuters


Less by Andrew Sean Greer


Cost of Living by Martyna Majok


The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea by Jack E. Davis


Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser


Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart

General Nonfiction

Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Forman Jr.


Damn. by Kendrick Lamar | @ColumbiaSpec

Pulitzer Prizes 102nd President Bollinger Jodi Kantor Kendrick Lamar
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