Joseph Pulitzer was born in Hungary, but soon found a home in America and a voice in American journalism. Pulitzer went from not being able to speak English to writing, editing, and publishing some of the most crucial pieces of American journalism.
In addition to his astounding accomplishments in the media field, especially in investigative reporting, he helped developed the first American school of journalism at the university level. He also founded one of the most respected awards in journalism, the Pulitzer Prize.
In his will, Joseph Pulitzer left specific instructions for the development of the Pulitzer Prize. In his 1904 will, he had included four different awards in the media field. However, he also left instructions for a Pulitzer Board that would be able to add, change, remove, and govern the awards.
One year after Pulitzer's death in 1911, the Columbia School of Journalism was founded. It was in 1917 that the first Pulitzer Prizes were distributed in the four media fields designated by the late Joseph Pulitzer.
Today, the Pulitzer Prize includes 21 awards in different media fields. This includes the addition of poetry, photography, and music fields. Every year the Pulitzer Board is taking steps to broaden the media areas to include more American ideas, formats, and techniques.
Joseph Pulitzer would be proud of the Pulitzer Prize awards as they still give out the most awards in the investigative reporting media. This is the area that was dearest to Pulitzer's heart as he knew that it was the only way to ensure that our government was truly representative of the people. Attempts to sensationalize the awards ceremony by televising the event and creating a lavish event have failed. The awards are handed out at the university amongst professionals, family, and media as Pulitzer would have wanted.