Denver Post Wins Pulitzer Prize for Public Service

Times Staff Writer

The Denver Post was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for meritorious public service today for its “in-depth study of missing children, which revealed that most are involved in custody disputes or are runaways, and which helped mitigate national fears stirred by exaggerated statistics.”

The public service award, which carries a gold medal award but no cash and is awarded to a newspaper rather than to individual journalists, has traditionally been the most coveted of the journalism Pulitzers since the awards were first made in 1917. The other awards carry a prize of $1,000 each.

The Pulitzer Prize for fiction was awarded this year to “Lonesome Dove” by Larry McMurtry. Two awards were given in general nonfiction--to “Move Your Shadow: South Africa, Black and White” by Joseph Lelyveld and to “Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families” by J. Anthony Lukas.


Other arts and letters awards included:

--History: “ . . . The Heavens and the Earth: A Political History of the Space Age” by Walter A. McDougall.

--Biography: “Louise Bogan: A Portrait” by Elizabeth Frank.

--Poetry: “The Flying Change” by Henry Taylor.

--Music: “Wind Quintet IV” by George Perle.

The Pulitzer Prize Board made no award in the drama category this year.

Series on ‘Star Wars’

The New York Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Miami Herald each won two Pulitzers. The staff of the New York Times won one, in the category of explanatory journalism, for a six-part “comprehensive series on the Strategic Defense Initiative, which explored the scientific, political and foreign policy issues in ‘Star Wars.’ ” Donal J. Henahan, a music critic for the New York Times, won a Pulitzer in criticism.

The Inquirer winners were Tom Gralish, in feature photography, and Arthur Howe, in national reporting for his “enterprising and indefatigable reporting on massive deficiencies in IRS processing of tax returns, reporting that eventually inspired major changes in IRS procedures and prompted the agency to make a public apology to U.S. taxpayers.”

Howe shared the national reporting prize with Craig Flournoy and George Rodrigue of the Dallas Morning News, honored for their investigation into subsidized housing in East Texas, which “uncovered patterns of racial discrimination and segregation in public housing across the United States and led to significant reforms.”,

The Miami Herald winners were Edna C. Buchanan in general news reporting and Carol Guzy and Michel duCille in spot news photography.


Knight-Ridder’s 7 Prizes

Both the Herald and the Inquirer are Knight-Ridder newspapers, and Knight-Ridder won seven of the 14 Pulitzers this year, the most ever won by one newspaper chain in a single year.

Other Pulitzer winners included:

--International reporting: Lewis M. Simons, Pete Carey and Katherine Ellison of the San Jose Mercury/News, for their series that “documented massive transfers of wealth abroad by President (Ferdinand) Marcos and his associates and had a direct impact on subsequent political developments in the Philippines and the United States.”

--Investigative reporting: Jeffrey A. Marx and Michael M. York of the Lexington, Ky., Herald-Leader.

--Specialized reporting: Andrew Schneider and Mary Pat Flaherty of the Pittsburgh Press.

--Feature writing: John Camp of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Dispatch.

--Commentary: Jimmy Breslin of the New York Daily News, “for columns which consistently championed ordinary citizens.”

--Editorial writing: Jack Fuller of the Chicago Tribune.

--Editorial cartooning: Jules Feiffer of the Village Voice in New York.