The 2008 Pulitzer Prize Winners

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Steven Pearlstein

Steve Pearlstein started out in journalism in 1973 right out Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where he was editor of the school newspaper. His first job was at Foster's Daily Democrat in Dover, N.H., an afternoon daily that is last newspaper in America to still bear the name of its owners (the Fosters were northern Democrats during the civil war). Six months later, he jumped to the Concord Monitor to cover local and federal court, but occasionally dipping into business and politics. One story caught the eye of John Durkin, the newly elected U.S. senator, who invited Steve to Washington to join his staff. For the next two years, Steve served as Durkin's press secretary and administrative assistant before jumping to the House side, where he served as administrative assistant to Rep. Michael Harrington in his Washington and Massachusetts office. Harrington retired in 1978.

Boston public television at that time had a wonderful nightly news program at that time. On a lark, Steve telephoned the anchorman, Chris Lydon, and asked if he needed any help, and the next day he started a brief television career behind and in front of the camera. One day a fellow reporter, Janet Wu, and Steve were at a diner near the studio when a woman came up to say that she was a faithful viewer and loved Wu's reporting. Wu was kind enough to introduce Steve to her fan, but her fan allowed how she had never heard of Steve. It was at that point he realized it was time to get back into print. The Boston Observer, which Steve launched in 1982, was a monthly journal of liberal opinion for which he held the official title as editor and publisher but unofficially was also the ad salesman, circulation director and typesetter. The Observer was a critical success but not a financial one, and closed its doors, not coincidentally, on the day his first child was born.

Inc. magazine, the business monthly, rescued Steve from unemployment, where he worked happily as a senior editor for two years until an acquaintance from The Washington Post called to say the paper was looking for a deputy business editor. He got the job, did it well enough, but after three years returned to the typewriter as a defense industry reporter, Canadian correspondent and economics correspondent. In 2003, Steve was named the Post's business columnist, from which perch he has been offering edgy and unpredictable opinions three times a week on local, national and international topics. Steve grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he attended public schools. Later, while working in Boston, he lived in the small town of West Newbury, where he served two terms as the elected town moderator, He now lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Wendy Gray. His daughter, Laura, works in advertising in New York, and his son Eli is a student at the University of Southern California.