The Top 5 Latest Winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting 2002 to 2006

  Pulitzer Prize Winners Year Newspaper Work
1 Susan Schmidt, James V. Grimaldi and R. Jeffrey Smith 2006 The Washington Post Probe of Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
2 Nigel Jaquiss 2005 Willamette Week Investigation of governor Neil Goldschmidt's sexual misconduct.
3 Michael D. Sallah, Joe Mahr, Mitch Weiss 2004 The Toledo Blade For their series "Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths".
4 Clifford J. Levy 2003 The New York Times For the series "Broken Homes"
5 Sari Horwitz, Scott Higham, Sarah Cohen 2002 The Washington Post For a series that exposed the neglect and death of 229 children.
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 Special Report


  1. Susan Schmidt, James V. Grimaldi and R. Jeffrey Smith won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting by writing a series of articles probing Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff who was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison on March 29th 2006. Abramoff pled guilty to three criminal felony counts related to the defrauding of American Indian tribes and corruption of public officials. He also pled guilty to two criminal felony counts related to his fraudulent dealings with SunCruz Casinos in Miami. As part of his sentencing Abramoff also agreed to pay back more than $19 million dollars which he had fraudulently charged Indian tribal clients. Abramoff was said to have contacts within the Bush administration however the administration has denied these contacts.
  2. On May 6, 2004 Neil Goldschmidt made an announcement that in the mid 1970s during his first term as mayor of Portland he had engaged in a lengthy sexual relationship with a 14 year old girl who was his babysitter at the time. According to Fred Leonhardt, a speechwriter who served on the governor Goldschmidt's senior staff, the story of Goldschmidt and the statutory rape of the girl had circulated for years in the bars and boardrooms of Portland. Lenonhardt took the story to The Oregonian state newspaper who according to him: "sat on my story for five months" until the story was picked up by Nigel Jaquiss of the Willamette Week. Jaquiss' Pulitzer represented only the fifth time in the prize's 88-year history that a Pulitzer has been awarded to a weekly paper.
  3. After doing research for a report that they were doing on the Tiger Force unit which fought in the Vietnam War, reporters Michael D. Sallah, Joe Mahr, Mitch Weiss found that, between 1971 and 1975, the unit had been investigated by the Army's Criminal Investigation Command for alleged war crimes committed between May and November of 1967. The alleged crimes included: routine torture and execution of prisoners, intentionally killing unarmed Vietnamese villagers, cutting off and collecting the scalps of victims, wearing necklaces composed of human ears as trophies, an incident where a soldier killed a baby and cut off his or her head after the baby's mother was killed, and another incident where a young mother was drugged, raped, and then executed. Sallah, Mahr and Weiss also reported that the Army failed to prosecute the soldiers who committed the atrocities after an internal army investigation found the platoon had committed war crimes. According to Managing Editor Kurt Franck "We had a moral obligation to report this news," he said. "Where the government failed, The Blade closed that chapter." Since the series of investigative articles and the Pulitzer win, the U.S. Army has opened a formal review of the former Tiger Force investigation.
  4. Levy won his Pulitzer for his series "Broken Homes" exposing abuse and neglect at private homes for the mentally ill in New York City where 946 residents, 326 of them under 60, died between the years 1995 and 2001. The three-part series tells of hundreds of suicides and unaccounted deaths, falsification of records by state workers, residents prostituting themselves and selling drugs from their rooms, patients given the wrong drugs by under trained workers, and thousands of dollars of unnecessary procedures performed on residents and charged to the state.
  5. Horwitz, Higham and Sara Cohen, won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for their series "The District's Lost Children" which chronicled the death of foster children in the District of Columbia's (D.C.) child welfare system. The four-part series exposed the District's role in the neglect and death of 229 children placed in its protective care between 1993 and 2000. The report prompted an overhaul of the city's child welfare system.
Tags: Books, Magazines & Newspapers, Prizes & Awards

Sources:  Various

List Notes: 
Latest Winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting 2002 to 2006

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