The 2012 Pulitzer Prize Winners

Biography or Autobiography

Current tab: citation


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

Awarded to "George F. Kennan: An American Life," by John Lewis Gaddis (The Penguin Press), an engaging portrait of a globetrotting diplomat whose complicated life was interwoven with the Cold War and America’s emergence as the world’s dominant power.

John Lewis Gaddis

Gregory Moore (left), co-chair of The Pulitzer Prize Board, presents the 2012 Biography Prize to John Lewis Gaddis.


Also nominated as finalists in this category were: "Love and Capital: Karl and Jenny Marx and the Birth of a Revolution," by Mary Gabriel (Little, Brown and Company), an enlightening, richly researched book on the saga of Marx, his family and the ideas and historical events they helped to shape; and "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention," by the late Manning Marable (Viking), an exploration of the legendary life and provocative views of one of the most significant African-Americans in U.S. history, a work that separates fact from fiction and blends the heroic and tragic. (Moved by the Board to the History category.)