Commentary

Finalists have been announced since 1980. Full texts, photographs and cartoons are available for Journalism winners from 1995–2014 only.

Winners

2014 Stephen Henderson of Detroit Free Press

For his columns on the financial crisis facing his hometown, written with passion and a stirring sense of place, sparing no one in their critique.

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2013 Bret Stephens of The Wall Street Journal

For his incisive columns on American foreign policy and domestic politics, often enlivened by a contrarian twist.

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2012 Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune

For her wide range of down-to-earth columns that reflect the character and capture the culture of her famed city.

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2011 David Leonhardt of The New York Times

For his graceful penetration of America’s complicated economic questions, from the federal budget deficit to health care reform.

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2010 Kathleen Parker of The Washington Post

For her perceptive, often witty columns on an array of political and moral issues, gracefully sharing the experiences and values that lead her to unpredictable conclusions.

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2009 Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post

For his eloquent columns on the 2008 presidential campaign that focus on the election of the first African-American president, showcasing graceful writing and grasp of the larger historic picture.

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2008 Steven Pearlstein of The Washington Post

For his insightful columns that explore the nation's complex economic ills with masterful clarity.

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2007 Cynthia Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

For her courageous, clear-headed columns that evince a strong sense of morality and persuasive knowledge of the community.

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2006 Nicholas D. Kristof of The New York Times

For his graphic, deeply reported columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world.

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2005 Connie Schultz of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

For her pungent columns that provided a voice for the underdog and underprivileged.

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2004 Leonard Pitts Jr. of The Miami Herald

For his fresh, vibrant columns that spoke, with both passion and compassion, to ordinary people on often divisive issues.

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2003 Colbert I. King of The Washington Post

For his against-the-grain columns that speak to people in power with ferocity and wisdom.

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2002 Thomas Friedman of The New York Times

For his clarity of vision, based on extensive reporting, in commenting on the worldwide impact of the terrorist threat.

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2001 Dorothy Rabinowitz of The Wall Street Journal

For her articles on American society and culture.

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2000 Paul A. Gigot of The Wall Street Journal

For his informative and insightful columns on politics and government.

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1999 Maureen Dowd of The New York Times

For her fresh and insightful columns on the impact of President Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky.

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1998 Mike McAlary of New York Daily News, New York, NY

For his coverage of the brutalization of a Haitian immigrant by police officers at a Brooklyn stationhouse.

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1997 Eileen McNamara of The Boston Globe

For her many-sided columns on Massachusetts people and issues.

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1996 E.R. Shipp of New York Daily News

For her penetrating columns on race, welfare and other social issues.

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1995 Jim Dwyer of Newsday, Long Island, NY

For his compelling and compassionate columns about New York City.

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1994 William Raspberry of The Washington Post

For his compelling commentaries on a variety of social and political topics.

1993 Liz Balmaseda of The Miami Herald

For her commentary from Haiti about deteriorating political and social conditions and her columns about Cuban-Americans in Miami.

1992 Anna Quindlen of The New York Times

For her compelling columns on a wide range of personal and political topics.

1991 Jim Hoagland of The Washington Post

For searching and prescient columns on events leading up to the Gulf War and on the political problems of Mikhail Gorbachev.

1990 Jim Murray of Los Angeles Times

For his sports columns.

1989 Clarence Page of Chicago Tribune

For his provocative columns on local and national affairs.

1988 Dave Barry of The Miami Herald

For his consistently effective use of humor as a device for presenting fresh insights into serious concerns.

1987 Charles Krauthammer of The Washington Post Writers Group

For his witty and insightful columns on national issues.

1986 Jimmy Breslin of New York Daily News

For columns which consistently champion ordinary citizens

1985 Murray Kempton of Newsday, Long Island, NY

For witty and insightful reflection on public issues in 1984 and throughout a distinguished career.

1984 Vermont Royster of The Wall Street Journal
1983 Claude Sitton of Raleigh (NC) News & Observer
1982 Art Buchwald of Los Angeles Times Syndicate
1981 Dave Anderson of The New York Times

For his commentary on sports.

1980 Ellen H. Goodman of The Boston Globe
1979 Russell Baker of The New York Times
1978 William Safire of The New York Times

For commentary on the Bert Lance affair.

1977 George F. Will of The Washington Post Writers Group

For distinguished commentary on a variety of topics.

1976 Walter Wellesley (Red) Smith of The New York Times

For his commentary on sports in 1975 and for many other years.

1975 Mary McGrory of The Washington Star

For her commentary on public affairs during 1974.

1974 Edwin A. Roberts Jr. of National Observer

For his commentary on public affairs during 1973.

1973 David S. Broder of The Washington Post

For his columns during 1972.

1972 Mike Royko of Chicago Daily News

For his columns during 1971.

1971 William A. Caldwell of The Record, Hackensack, New Jersey

For his commentary in his daily column.

1970 Marquis W. Childs of St. Louis Post-Dispatch

For distinguished commentary during 1969.

Finalists

2014 Kevin Cullen of The Boston Globe

For his street-wise local columns that capture the spirit of a city, especially after its famed Marathon was devastated by terrorist bombings.

2014 Lisa Falkenberg of the Houston Chronicle

For her provocative metro columns written from the perspective of a sixth-generation Texan, often challenging the powerful and giving voice to the voiceless.

2013 Juliette Kayyem of The Boston Globe

For her colorful, well reported columns on an array of issues, from women in combat to oil drilling in Alaska.

2013 Mark Di Ionno of The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.

For his hard hitting columns on Hurricane Sandy, the death of a gay college student and other local events and issues.

2012 Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times

For his valorous columns that transport readers into dangerous international scenes, from Egypt to Kenya to Cambodia, often focusing on the disenfranchised and always providing insight.

2012 Steve Lopez of the Los Angeles Times

For his engaging commentary on death and dying, marked by pieces on his own father’s rapid physical and mental decline, that stir readers to address end-of-life questions.

2011 Phillip Morris of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio

For his blend of local storytelling and unpredictable opinions, enlarging the discussion of controversial issues that stir a big city.

2011 Mary Schmich of Chicago Tribune

For her versatile columns exploring life and the concerns of a metropolis with whimsy and poignancy.

2010 David Leonhardt of The New York Times

For his illumination of the nation’s most pressing and complex economic concerns, from health care reform to the worst recession in decades.

2010 Phillip Morris of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio

For his columns that close the distance between the reader and the rough streets of the city, confronting hard realities without leaving people to feel hopeless.

2009 Regina Brett of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH

For her range of compelling columns that move the heart, challenge authority and often trigger action while giving readers deeper insight into life’s challenges.

2009 Paul Krugman of The New York Times

For his prophetic columns on economic peril during a year of financial calamity, blending the scholarly knowledge of a distinguished economist with the skill of a wordsmith.

2008 Regina Brett of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

For her passionate columns on alienated teenagers in a dangerous city neighborhood.

2008 John Kass of Chicago Tribune

For his hard-hitting columns on the abuse of local political power and a lively range of topics in a colorful city.

2007 Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post

For her intelligent and incisive commentary on a range of subjects, using a voice that can be serious or playful.

2007 Joe Nocera of The New York Times

For his piercing, authoritative columns on business, often spotlighting misdeeds and flaws in corporate culture.

2006 Chris Rose of The Times-Picayune, New Orleans, LA

For his vibrant and compassionate columns that gave voice to the afflictions of his city after it was struck by Hurricane Katrina.

2006 Cynthia Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

For her pungent, clear-eyed columns that tackled controversial issues with frankness and fortitude.

2005 Nicholas D. Kristof of The New York Times

For his powerful columns that portrayed suffering among the developing world's often forgotten people and stirred action.

2005 Tommy Tomlinson of The Charlotte (NC) Observer

For his provocative columns with a wide-ranging human touch.

2004 Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times

For his columns that, through rigorous reporting and powerful writing, often gave voice to forgotten people trapped in misery.

2004 Cynthia Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

For her forceful, persuasive columns that confronted sacred cows and hot topics with unswerving candor.

2003 Edward Achorn of The Providence Journal

For his clear, tenacious call to action against government corruption in Rhode Island.

2003 Mark Holmberg of Richmond Times-Dispatch

For his thought provoking, strongly reported columns on a broad range of topics.

2002 Michael Daly of Daily News, New York, NY

For his compassionate and humane columns, particularly those written after the terrorist attack on New York City.

2002 Nat Hentoff of The Village Voice, a New York City weekly

For his persuasive and authoritative columns on the threats to American civil liberties following the September 11th terrorist attacks.

2001 Karen Heller of The Philadelphia Inquirer

For her humorous columns on modern life and popular culture.

2001 Derrick Z. Jackson of The Boston Globe

For his perceptive, versatile columns on such subjects as politics, education and race.

2001 Trudy Rubin of The Philadelphia Inquirer

For her keenly analytical columns on the Middle East.

2000 Michael Kelly of The Washington Post, Writers Group

For his enlightening and entertaining observations on cultural and political issues.

2000 Colbert I. King of The Washington Post

For his caring, persuasive columns addressing social and urban problems.

1999 Nat Hentoff of The Village Voice, a New York City weekly

For his passionate columns championing free expression and individual rights.

1999 Donald Kaul of The Des Moines Register

For his witty columns from Washington on politics and other national issues.

1998 Bob Greene of Chicago Tribune

For his columns devoted to local children whose lives were mishandled by the welfare and judicial systems.

1998 Robert J. Samuelson of The Washington Post, Writers Group

For his knowledgeable and analytical columns on a wide variety of national subjects.

1998 Patricia Smith of The Boston Globe

For her lyrical and evocative columns on an assortment of urban topics.

1997 Tony Kornheiser of The Washington Post

For his evocative columns ranging from sports and politics to tales of heroes and fools.

1997 Deborah Work of Sun-Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale, FL

For speaking out in highly personal yet broadly relevant columns in roles as diverse as parent, citizen, critic and philosopher.

1996 Herb Caen of San Francisco Chronicle

For his columns about life in San Francisco and beyond.

1996 Dorothy Rabinowitz of The Wall Street Journal

For her columns effectively challenging key cases of alleged child abuse.

1995 Paul Gigot of The Wall Street Journal

For his insightful columns on Washington politics.

1995 Carl T. Rowan of Chicago Sun-Times

For his columns disclosing corruption and mismanagement at the NAACP, which prompted reforms at the civil rights organization.

1994 Jane Daugherty of Detroit Free Press

For her "Children First" columns, about issues affecting the youngest Americans.

1994 Peter H. King of Los Angeles Times

For his columns about California, filed from around the state.

1993 Betty DeRamus of The Detroit News

For her columns about the problems and promise of urban America.

1993 Bill Johnson of Orange County (CA) Register

For his impressionistic accounts of his South Central Los Angeles neighborhood before and after the riots.

1992 Liz Balmaseda of The Miami Herald

For her columns about local Cuban-Americans and the issues affecting the immigrant community.

1992 Robert Lipsyte of The New York Times

For his insightful commentary on the world of sports.

1991 Rheta Grimsley Johnson of The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, TN

For her insightful columns on a variety of topics.

1991 Philip Terzian of The Providence Journal-Bulletin

For his gracefully written columns about national and international events.

1991 William F. Woo of St. Louis Post-Dispatch

For his thoughtful columns on local and national subjects.

1990 Richard Cohen of The Washington Post

For his columns on national issues.

1990 Walter Goodman of The New York Times

For his columns about television.

1989 Richard Cohen of The Washington Post

For his clear and controlled commentary on social and political topics.

1989 Michael Kinsley of United Feature Syndicate

For informed commentary on a variety of national issues.

1988 Molly Ivins of Dallas Times Herald

For her witty columns on a variety of social and political issues.

1988 Ira Berkow of The New York Times

For thoughtful commentary on the sports scene.

1988 Michael Kinsley of United Feature Syndicate

For his incisive commentary on a wide range of political topics.

1987 Richard Cohen of The Washington Post Writers Group

For his eloquent columns on social and political issues.

1987 Donald Kaul of The Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette

For his compelling commentary on national events.

1986 The late Joseph Kraft of Los Angeles Times Syndicate

For incisive and thoughtful commentary on a wide range of public issues throughout a long and distinguished career.

1986 Charles Krauthammer of The Washington Post

For his gracefully written and clear commentary on a variety of issues.

1985 Martin F. Nolan of The Boston Globe
1985 Molly Ivins of Dallas Times Herald
1984 Arnold Rosenfeld of Dayton (Ohio) Daily News
1984 Dorothy Storck of The Philadelphia Inquirer
1983 Ross Mackenzie of Richmond (VA) News Leader
1983 David G. Rossie of Binghamton (NY) Evening Press
1982 William Greider of The Washington Post
1982 William J. Raspberry of The Washington Post
1981 Richard M. Cohen of The Washington Post
1981 Howard Rosenberg of Los Angeles Times
1980 Richard Reeves of Universal Press Syndicate
1980 Carl T. Rowan of Chicago Sun-Times and Syndicate