The 2010 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 “The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt,” by T.J Stiles (Alfred A. Knopf), a penetrating portrait of a complex, self-made titan who revolutionized transportation, amassed vast wealth and shaped the economic world in ways still felt today.

T.J. Stiles

Lee C. Bollinger, President of Columbia University (left), presents the 2010 Biography prize to T.J. Stiles.


Also nominated as finalists in this category were “Cheever: A Life,” by Blake Bailey (Alfred A. Knopf), an absorbing, impeccably researched exploration of the famed writer John Cheever, illuminating his greatness as well as flaws, told in a compelling voice worthy of the subject; and “Woodrow Wilson: A Biography,” by John Milton Cooper Jr. (Alfred A. Knopf), a magisterial work that corrects erroneous perceptions and casts important new light on one of the most pivotal and enigmatic American presidents, fully placing the man in the context of his times.