The 2009 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Biography or Autobiography

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For a distinguished and appropriately documented biography or autobiography by an American author, Ten thousand dollars ($10,000).

Awarded to “American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House,” by Jon Meacham (Random House), an unflinching portrait of a not always admirable democrat but a pivotal president, written with an agile prose that brings the Jackson saga to life.

Jon Meachem

Lee C. Bollinger, President of Columbia University (left), presents the 2009 Biography prize to Jon Meacham.


Also nominated as finalists in this category were: “Traitor to His Class: The Privileged Life and Radical Presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” by H.W. Brands (Doubleday), a richly textured and highly readable exploration of the inner Roosevelt, presented with analytical acuity and flashes of originality; and
“The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century,” by Steve Coll (The Penguin Press), an epic tale extending far beyond Osama Bin Laden and the calamity of 9/11, rooted in meticulous research and written with an urgency, clarity and flair that entertains as easily as it educates.