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Pulitzer Prize Winner

Pulitzer Prize Winners

*Angelo Henderson (JOU/’85), Wall Street Journal, 1999 Feature Writing,, for his feature story on a white pharmacist in Detroit that killed a black armed robber in self-defense.

In 2004 Angelo B. Henderson became associate editor of Real Times LLC, the nation’s largest African-American newspaper chain. Working as deputy Detroit bureau chief of theWall Street Journal, Henderson was honored with the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished feature writing. His dramatic narrative detailed the lives affected by an attempted drugstore robbery that ended in the robber’s death. Henderson has covered a variety of beats at newspapers including the St. Petersburg Times and the Louisville Courier-Journal. He is the owner and president of Angelo Ink LCC, a media-consulting firm that provides motivational speaking, media services, training and development to professional and aspiring journalists, corporate executives, support staff and civic organizations.

Michael York, (JOU’74) along with Jeffrey Marx, 1986 Investigative Reporting, ( Both were with the Lexington Herald Leader, for their series "Playing Above the Rules," which exposed cash payoffs to University of Kentucky basketball players in violation of NCAA regulations and led to significant reforms.

*Richard E. Whitt (JOU/’70), Louisville Courier-Journal, 1978 Local General or Spot News Reporting (1978 Pulitzer Prize) for the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire that took 164 lives at the Beverly Hills Supper Club at Southgate, Ky., and subsequent investigation of the lack of enforcement of state fire codes.

He was assistant state editor at the Waterloo (Iowa) Courier, returning to Appalachia in December 1972 to become assistant managing editor at the Kingsport (Tenn.) Times-News. He joined The Courier-Journal of Louisville in January 1977, as a reporter in Northern Kentucky. Four months later, the Beverly Hills Supper Club burned, and his reporting on it and the aftermath led to criminal investigations, the rewriting of the state's fire and safety laws, and the Pulitzer Prize. He went on to become chief of the Frankfort Bureau, then an investigative reporter for the paper's special-projects unit. He took a similar job with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1989 and retired in 2006. He was a Pulitzer finalist in 1984 for a series on coal-mine safety and in 1988 for public service. He entered the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 1995.

*Don Whitehead, won his first pulitizer in 1951 for International Reporting for the first-hand coverage under fire of the marine crossing of the Han River during the Korean War ( and in 1953 for National Reporting for the Associated Press ( for stories he wrote as one of three reporters accompanying President-elect Eisenhower on a secret trip to Korea in 1952. He was a war correspondent for the Associated Press. Don Whitehead was born on April 8, 1908 in Inman, Virginia, but was raised in Kentucky and attended the University of Kentucky where he was a reporter for the Kentucky Kernel. He started his journalistic career in 1928 working for newspapers in La Follette and Harlan, Kentucky. His career with the Associated Press started in 1935.

Ben Van Hook, The Courier Journal, 1989 in the Spot News Photography Category, for his photograph of a boy clutching his father at a funeral service for victims of a church bus crash which claimed 27 lives. Ben attended UK.


Bill Neikirk (JOU/’60), shared Pulitzers in 1979 and 2001. He most recently was the senior editor for the Chicago Tribune’s Washington bureau. He was a runner-up in 1979 for a series on the world trade crisis. Shared in 2001, Chicago Tribune series “Gateway to Gridlock.”

*John Ed Pearce (JOU’41), Louisville Courier-Journal, shared in 1967 for Public Service, campaign for stronger control strip mining. Pearce was a native of Norton, Va. where his father founded The Coalfield Progress. He briefly edited the old Somerset (Ky.) Journal before joining the Louisville paper in 1947. Since 1990 Pearce "was a contributing columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader," that paper's Jennifer Hewlett noted. "His work also appeared in The New York Times and The Washington Post, and he wrote several books."

*Harry Bolser, attended UK in 1926, Courier-Journal, shared in 1967 for Public Service, campaign for stronger control strip mining. He was the Courier-Journal western Kentucky bureau chief.

*John Lewis “Jim” Hampton, Jr., (JOU/’59) former editor of The Miami Herald which won two Pulitzer Prizes under his leadership. He was editor-in-chief of the Kentucky Kerneland was named outstanding journalism graduate of 1959. He worked for The Associated Press in Louisville and Lexington before joining The Courier-Journal, becoming chief of the Bluegrass Bureau. He later served 10 years as a writer and editor for the National Observer. He covered the 1968 presidential campaign, anti-war demonstrations at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago and the killing of four students at Kent State University by National Guardsmen. He holds a master’s degree in communications and journalism from Stanford University, and was named to UK’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 1975.

Dana Canedy, (JOU/’88), shared in 2001 (, Miami Bureau Chief of New York Times, series “The Hurt Between the Lines,” about how race is lived in America.


Al Cross, JAM Faculty Member, shared 1989 with Courier Journal staff members for its exemplary initial coverage of a bus crash that claimed 27 lives and its subsequent thorough and effective examination of the causes and implications of the tragedy. Cross uncovered details of Larry Mahoney’s past drunken driving record.