The Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting has been awarded since 1953, under one name or another, for a distinguished example of investigative reporting by an individual or team, presented as a single article or series in print journalism. The Pulitzer Prize is only given to journalists whose works have appeared in US newspapers, drastically limiting the number of journalists and scope of investigative reporting that may be awarded. It is administered by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.
From 1953 through 1963, the category was known as the Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting, No Edition Time. From 1964 to 1984, it was known as the Pulitzer Prize for Local Investigative Specialized Reporting.
The Pulitzer Committee issues an official citation explaining the reasons for the award.
1955: Roland Kenneth Towery, Cuero Record (Texas), "for his series of articles exclusively exposing a scandal in the administration of the Veterans' Land Program in Texas. This 32-year-old World War II veteran, a former prisoner of the Japanese, made these irregularities a state-wide and subsequently a national issue, and stimulated state action to rectify conditions in the land program."
1958:George Beveridge, Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), "for his excellent and thought-provoking series, "Metro, City of Tomorrow," describing in depth the urban problems of Washington, D.C., which stimulated widespread public consideration of these problems and encouraged further studies by both public and private agencies."
1959:John Harold Brislin, Scranton Tribune and Scrantonian, "for displaying courage, initiative and resourcefulness in his effective four-year campaign to halt labor violence in his home city, as a result of which ten corrupt union officials were sent to jail and a local union was embolden to clean out racketeering elements."
1960:Miriam Ottenberg, Evening Star (Washington, D.C.), "for a series of seven articles exposing a used-car racket in Washington, D.C., that victimized many unwary buyers. The series led to new regulations to protect the public and served to alert other communities to such sharp practices."
1961:Edgar May, Buffalo Evening News, "for his series of articles on New York State's public welfare services entitled, Our Costly Dilemma, based in part on his three-month employment as a state case worker. The series brought about reforms that attracted nationwide attention."
1962:George Bliss, Chicago Tribune, "for his initiative in uncovering scandals in the Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago, with resultant remedial action."
1963:Oscar Griffin Jr., Pecos Independent and Enterprise, "who as editor initiated the exposure of the Billie Sol Estes scandal and thereby brought a major fraud on the United States government to national attention with resultant investigation, prosecution and conviction of Estes."
Pulitzer Prize for Local Investigative Specialized Reporting
1964: James V. Magee, Albert V. Gaudiosi and Frederick Meyer, Philadelphia Bulletin, "for their expose of numbers racket operations with police collusion in South Philadelphia, which resulted in arrests and a cleanup of the police department."
1965: Gene Goltz, Houston Post, "for his expose of government corruption Pasadena, Texas, which resulted in widespread reforms."
1966: John Anthony Frasca, Tampa Tribune, "for his investigation and reporting of two robberies that resulted in the freeing of an innocent man."
1967:Gene Miller, Miami Herald, "for initiative and investigative reporting that helped to free two persons wrongfully convicted of murder."
1971: William Jones, Chicago Tribune, "for exposing collusion between police and some of Chicago's largest private ambulance companies to restrict service in low income areas, leading to major reforms."
1984: Kenneth Cooper, Joan Fitz Gerald, Jonathan Kaufman, Norman Lockman, Gary McMillan, Kirk Scharfenberg and David Wessel, Boston Globe, "for their series examining race relations in Boston, a notable exercise in public service that turned a searching gaze on some the city's most honored institutions including the Globe itself."
Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting
1985:Lucy Morgan and Jack Reed, St. Petersburg Times (Florida), "for their thorough reporting on Pasco County Sheriff John Short, which revealed his department's corruption and led to his removal from office by voters."
1985: William K. Marimow, The Philadelphia Inquirer, "for his revelation that city police dogs had attacked more than 350 people - an exposure that led to investigations of the K-9 unit and the removal of a dozen officers from it."
2002:Sari Horwitz, Scott Higham, and Sarah Cohen, The Washington Post, "for a series that exposed the District of Columbia's role in the neglect and death of 229 children placed in protective care between 1993 and 2000, which prompted an overhaul of the city's child welfare system."
2003:Clifford J. Levy, The New York Times, "for his vivid, brilliantly written series 'Broken Homes' that exposed the abuse of mentally ill adults in state-regulated homes."
2007:Brett Blackledge of The Birmingham News, "for his exposure of cronyism and corruption in the state's two-year college system, resulting in the dismissal of the chancellor and other corrective action."
2009:David Barstow of The New York Times, for his tenacious reporting that revealed how some retired generals, working as radio and television analysts, had been co-opted by the Pentagon to make its case for the war in Iraq, and how many of them also had undisclosed ties to companies that benefited from policies they defended."
2010:Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman of the Philadelphia Daily News and Sheri Fink of ProPublica, in collaboration with The New York Times Magazine. Laker and Ruderman won for "their resourceful reporting that exposed a rogue police narcotics squad, resulting in an FBI probe and the review of hundreds of criminal cases tainted by the scandal", Fink for "a story that chronicles the urgent life-and-death decisions made by one hospital’s exhausted doctors when they were cut off by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina."
2011:Paige St. John of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, "for her examination of weaknesses in the murky property-insurance system vital to Florida homeowners, providing handy data to assess insurer reliability and stirring regulatory action."
2012: (Two winning newspapers) Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley of the Associated Press, "for their spotlighting of the New York Police Department’s clandestine spying program that monitored daily life in Muslim communities, resulting in congressional calls for a federal investigation, and a debate over the proper role of domestic intelligence gathering," and Michael J. Berens and Ken Armstrong of The Seattle Times, "for their investigation of how a little known governmental body in Washington State moved vulnerable patients from safer pain-control medication to methadone, a cheaper but more dangerous drug, coverage that prompted statewide health warnings."
2015: (Two winners) Eric Lipton of The New York Times "for reporting that showed how the influence of lobbyists can sway congressional leaders and state attorneys general, slanting justice toward the wealthy and connected" and The Wall Street Journal staff "for 'Medicare Unmasked,' a pioneering project that gave Americans unprecedented access to previously confidential data on the motivations and practices of their health care providers."The Wall Street Journal team included John Carreyrou, Chris Stewart, Rob Barry, Tom McGinty, Martin Burch, Jon Keegan and Stuart Thompson.
2019: Matt Hamilton, Harriet Ryan and Paul Pringle of the Los Angeles Times "for consequential reporting on a University of Southern California gynecologist accused of violating hundreds of young women for more than a quarter-century."