In the latter years of the 19th century, Joseph Pulitzer stood out as the very embodiment of American journalism. Hungarian-born, an intense indomitable figure, Pulitzer was the most skillful of newspaper publishers, a passionate crusader against dishonest government, a fierce, hawk-like competitor who did not shrink from sensationalism in circulation struggles, and a visionary who richly endowed his profession. His innovative New York World and St. Louis Post-Dispatch reshaped newspaper journalism. Pulitzer was the first to call for the training of journalists at the university level in a school of journalism. And certainly, the lasting influence of the Pulitzer Prizes on journalism, literature, music, and drama is to be attributed to his visionary acumen.
In writing his 1904 will, which made provision for the establishment of the Pulitzer Prizes as an incentive to excellence, Pulitzer specified solely four awards in journalism, four in letters and drama, one for education, and four traveling scholarships. In letters, prizes were to go to an American novel, an original American play performed in New York, a book on the history of the United States, an American biography, and a history of public service by the press. But, sensitive to the dynamic progression of his society Pulitzer made provision for broad changes in the system of awards.
Since the prize's inception in 1917, the Pulitzer Prize Board has increased the number of awards to 21. Keeping with Mr. Pulitzer's spirit, will and intent the awards now include poetry, music and photography. The Pulitzer Board established the first award for photography in 1942. The award recognizes that photography provides lasting images that chronicle the major events of our time. Approximately 150 photography entries are submitted annually either as individual images or as a portfolio (i.e. series of photographs). The photography jury now offers nominations in two categories: spot news photography and feature photography. Each year, the Pulitzer Prize Board - comprised of leading journalists and academics - reviews the nominations and selects the winners.
The Associated Press has been honored with the Pulitzer Prize for Photography 28 times since the inception of this award.
The Associated Press Pulitzer Prize photographs are exclusively represented in the Rocky Mountain Region by GALLERY M.