Quotes From Pulitzer Prize Winners
The Associated Press
Apr. 08, 2002
_ ``In receiving these awards, we are ever mindful of the shattering events it was our task to record in our city, nation and world community. The Times's awards reflect not just our efforts, but the strength we draw from The Times's traditions, our mentors and our enduring standards.'' _ Howell Raines, executive editor of The New York Times, which won a record seven Pulitzer Prizes.
_ ``We were happy to win; it's been a tough year for us. We were across the street from the trade center, we're still not back in our offices, and in covering the story one of our reporters was murdered.'' _ Jim Pensiero, vice president of The Wall Street Journal, which won the Pulitzer for breaking news reporting for its coverage of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
_ ``You can tell when you hit it. The story is about making moral choices and consequences.'' _ Barry Siegel of the Los Angeles Times, who won the Pulitzer for feature writing for his portrait of a man tried for negligence in the death of his son and the unusual connection of the judge to the case.
_ ``Oh my God. ... I'm fainting now, lying on my bed. I've got my hands over my eyes.'' _ Diane McWhorter upon learning that she won the general nonfiction Pulitzer for ``Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution.''
_ ``I'm totally pleased. ... I was fascinated by these people when I started, which was about 12 years ago, and every time I turned the page in their stories there were fun things to write about.'' _ Louis Menand, who won the history Pulitzer for ``The Metaphysical Club,'' about four 19th-century philosophers.
_ ``I think it shows that it's got a great staff. Even more, as an institution, there's a tremendous commitment to covering the news. It takes an extraordinary amount of money to cover the news and this story was an expensive one.'' _ Barry Bearak, of The New York Times, who won the Pulitzer for international reporting for coverage of daily life in war-torn Afghanistan.
_ ``This is the kind of accountability reporting that's so important. That's why we're here.'' _ Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. of The Washington Post, which won the Pulitzer for investigative reporting for a series that exposed the District of Columbia's role in the neglect and deaths of 229 children placed in protective care.
_ ``It couldn't have happened on a more appropriate day, given that she's been so much involved all along.'' _ David McCullough, who won the Pulitzer for biography for ``John Adams'' on the birthday of his wife, Rosalee.
_ ``We addressed honestly a problem that affects everyone in the United States. My guess is that it resonated with the board because it resonated with everyone.'' _ Bob Sipchen of the Los Angeles Times, who with Alex Raksin won the Pulitzer for editorial writing for pieces exploring issues facing the mentally ill homeless.
_ ``Of course it was thrilling. The managing editor bought some champagne and we all went down to the auditorium and had some speeches and some balloons.'' _ Justin Davidson of Newsday, who won the Pulitzer for criticism with his coverage of classical music.
_ ``I'll have to think about this for a while, but, of course, I'm very proud to be included among the many fine people who have won the prize.'' _ Carl Dennis, who won the poetry Pulitzer for ``Practical Gods.''
_ ``What was really meaningful was that after the Enron debacle started to unwind and started to take on the elements of a train wreck ... people started to take notice of the things that I and my colleagues here at the paper have been jumping up and down about for years now. It's really nice to have people realize that you were making some sense before the rest of the world caught on.'' _ Gretchen Morgenson of The New York Times, who won the Pulitzer for beat reporting for her coverage of Wall Street.
_ ``This is really the effort of a lot of people working for a very long time to see this happen at The Times. We got the opportunity with this story and our paper chose to cover it very completely, and that includes visually. We are lucky enough to have a very talented staff who jumped right in and made an amazing effort and I'm thrilled that we've been rewarded.'' _ Margaret O'Connor, pictures editor for the New York Times, which won both Pulitzers for photography. The breaking news award was for coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks and their impact on New York. The feature award was for photographs chronicling the ``pain and perseverance'' of the peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
_ ``If you are brave in your life, you can be brave in your writing.'' _ Susan-Lori Parks, who won the drama Pulitzer for ``Topdog/Underdog,'' a two-character play about sibling rivalry and dreams denied.
_ ``I talked to a cousin today from where I grew up and he is beside himself with glee that this happened to me, to someone from this family, from this town.'' _ Richard Russo, who won the fiction Pulitzer for ``Empire Falls,'' a compassionate story of hard luck in a small town. Russo, a working man's son from the small town of Gloversville, N.Y., now lives in Maine.
_ ``I've been composing for over 70 years, and in that time, if you keep this up, you see many different things. I wasn't too astonished because one gets to expect surprises.'' _ Henry Brant, 88, who won the music Pulitzer for ``Ice Field.''
_ ``I was starting to wonder if it would ever happen. But luckily that string ended today. (When) the line came up saying that I had won, my editor jumped out of his chair and turned it over. That's when the whole blur of activity started. It's just all a fog now.'' _ Clay Bennett, of The Christian Science Monitor, who won the Pulitzer for editorial cartoons. He was nominated four years in a row.