Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame

Winners of the Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award

Ernie Pyle

The National Society of Newspaper Columnists presents the Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award annually to honor a columnist who exemplifies outstanding achievement in the tradition of Ernie Pyle. In the 1930s, Pyle wrote a national travel column for Scripps-Howard News Service, carried in some 200 newspapers. In World War II, he became a renown war correspondent, first in Europe then the Pacific theater. Rather than writing about the official military perspective, Pyle reported first-hand accounts about soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. He was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1944, and the next year he was killed on a Pacific island during an attack.

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2017, Manchester, NH, Maureen Dowd

Maureen Dowd

Maureen Dowd, winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary and author of two New York Times best sellers, became an Op-Ed columnist in 1995. In August 2014, she also became a writer for The Times Magazine.

Born in Washington, Ms. Dowd began her journalism career in 1974 as an editorial assistant for The Washington Star, where she later became a sports columnist, metropolitan reporter and feature writer. In 1983, she joined The New York Times as a metropolitan correspondent and then moved to The Times’s Washington bureau in 1986 to cover politics. Ms. Dowd has covered seven presidential campaigns, served as The Times’s White House correspondent, and written “On Washington,” a column for The Times Magazine. In the run-up to the 2004 presidential election, G. P. Putnam published her first book, “Bushworld,” which covered the presidency and personality of George W. Bush. After “Bushworld” quickly climbed the best-seller list, Ms. Dowd switched from presidential politics to sexual politics in another bestseller, “Are Men Necessary? When Sexes Collide,” released in 2005. Her latest bestseller, “The Year of Voting Dangerously: The Derangement of American Politics,” tried to make sense of the most divisive Presidential race in modern history.

In addition to The New York Times, Ms. Dowd has written for GQ, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, Mademoiselle, Sports Illustrated and others. Her column appears every Sunday.


2016, Los Angeles, CA, Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Leonard Pitts Jr.

Leonard Pitts Jr.

This is not the first NSNC honor for the multiaward-winning Leonard Pitts, Jr. The Maryland-based Miami Herald writer received our organization’s first Columnist of the Year prize in 2002 — partly in recognition of a powerful piece he wrote immediately after 9/11. The “We’ll Go Forward From This Moment” column was in the form of a strong, irate letter to the attackers — and generated about 30,000 emails.

Pitts covers a wide range of topics — including politics, race and culture — in his column. The former music writer has also authored fiction and nonfiction books, and been a radio producer and college professor.



2015, Indianapolis, IN, Judith Martin

Miss Manners Judith Martin Photo Kay Chernush

Photo by Kay Chernush

Judith Martin has been writing her popular “Miss Manners” advice column since 1978. It is distributed three times a week by Universal Uclick and runs in more than 200 newspapers nationwide and abroad. In addition to writing her column, Martin has authored 15 etiquette books. She also has written two novels. Her website is Along with the column, her syndicate notes, “as a reporter, feature writer and critic, she spent 25 years at The Washington Post, where she was one of the original members of the Style and Weekend sections.” Martin lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Dr. Robert Martin. Their children, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin, have been helping Judith Martin write the “Miss Manners” column since 2013.

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2014, Washington, D.C., Gene Weingarten

Gene WeingartenGene Weingarten, 61, is syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group. He worked 19 years as an editor and staff writer for The Washington Post. Before joining the Post, Weingarten was the editor of Tropic, the Sunday magazine of The Miami Herald. While at Tropic, Weingarten recruited Dave Barry to write humor columns for the Herald, propelling the career of the 2013 Pyle recipient. Weingarten won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing in 2008 and 2010. In 2010, Weingarten began syndicating the comic strip Barney & Clyde, a collaboration with his son Dan Weingarten and cartoonist David Clark.Though a college dropout, he was awarded a Nieman Fellowship for Journalism at Harvard University in 1987. He lives in Washington with his wife, Arlene Reidy, a lawyer. His daughter Molly Weingarten is a veterinarian.

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2013, Hartford, Conn., Dave Barry

Dave BarryDave Barry began his journalism career in 1971 as a reporter with the Daily Local News of West Chester, Pa. He worked as an Associated Press copy editor then taught business writing. In 1983, Barry was hired by Gene Weingarten to be a humor columnist for The Miami Herald. His column has been widely syndicated by Tribune Media Services. As of summer 2013, Barry has published 31 collections and similar books, as well as 16 novels or children’s books, some collaboratively. In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. He ended his regular column in 2005 but still contributes special projects for the Herald and TMS. CBS ran a situation comedy based on his books, Dave’s World, 1993-97. He is a founding member of the Rock Bottom Remainders, a 1992-2012 pop band of best-selling authors who played for charity.

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2012, Macon, GA, Gail Collins

Gail CollinsGail Collins joined The New York Times in 1995 as a member of the editorial board and later as an Op-Ed columnist. In 2001 she became the first woman appointed editor of the Times’ editorial page. which she held six years and now is a full-time columnist. Prior to the Times, Collins was a political columnist at New York Newsday and the New York Daily News, and a reporter for United Press International. Born in Cincinnati, Collins first wrote for Connecticut publications including the Hartford Advocate and founded the Connecticut State News Bureau. She has published several books and taught journalism at Columbia University and elsewhere.

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2011, Detroit, MI, Roger Ebert (1942-2013)

Roger Ebert has been a film critic since 1967 at the Chicago Sun-Times and his reviews are syndicated in more than 200 newspapers. He won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1975, the first film critic to be so honored. The following year, Roger and Gene Siskel began a long run of reviewing movies on TV with Sneak Previews, and a couple of title changes followed. After Siskel’s death in 1999, Ebert had other co-hosts until illness deprived him of the ability to speak. Ebert remains active and he and his wife produce yet another iteration of the program. He is the author of an award-winning internet blog journal and has written more than 20 books.

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2010, Bloomington, IN, Carl Hiaasen

Carl Hiaasen of The Miami Herald was recipient of the 2010 Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award. Hiaasen is a singular figure in contemporary American journalism and popular culture. Many people are most familiar with his screamingly funny, comic-mystery novels. For 25 years, Hiassen has used his column in the Herald to skewer the real bad guys who threaten the political and physical landscape of his native Florida. He joined the Herald in 1976 at age 23 and worked as a general assignment reporter, magazine writer and award-winning investigative reporter before starting his column in 1985. He’s an epic practitioner of the columnist’s craft — and the novelist’s.

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2009, Ventura, CA, Jon Carroll

Jon CarrollA native of California, Jon Carroll has been a columnist with the San Francisco Chronicle since 1982, retiring in fall 2015.  Carroll has long history in journalism with editorial positions at a wide range of publications, including Rolling Stone, Village Voice, Women’s Sports and New West.  His previous awards include the prestigious National Magazine Award honoring excellence in the magazine industry.  Carroll is known for his witty political commentary, but is also beloved for his sense of humor and for columns on topics as simple as his cats.

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2008,  New Orleans, LA, Ellen Goodman

Ellen GoodmanEllen Goodman, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist from The Boston Globe, left the Detroit Free Press to join the Globe as a reporter in 1967 and became a full time columnist in 1974. Her column went into syndication in 1976 with the Washington Post Writers Group. Her commentary appears in more than 300 newspapers and she has authored a number of books. She received the Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Commentary in 1980. Among the many other awards she has won are the American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing Award and the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award.

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2007, Philadelphia, PA, Clarence Page

Clarence PageThe 1989 Pulitzer Prize winner for Commentary, has been a columnist and a member of the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board since July 1984.  His column is syndicated nationally by Tribune Media Services.  He has been based in Washington, D.C. since May 1991.  He has hosted and contributed to numerous television programs and documentaries.  He received a lifetime achievement award from the National Association of Black Journalists and was inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame in 1992.

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2006, Boston, MA, Art Buchwald (1925-2007)

Art BuchwaldHis column-writing career began in 1949 in the Paris offices of the New York Herald Tribune, where he worked until his return to the U.S. in 1962. His humor and political satire was carried in 300 newspapers and Art received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1982. He authored 34 books and was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1986.

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2005, Grapevine, TX, Pete Hamill

Pete HamillThe legendary New York columnist began his column in the early 1960s for the New York Post and went on to write columns for the New York Daily News and the Village Voice, as well as magazines. Pete’s voice of passion combined with strong reporting skills allowed him to tackle the major issues of the day, including Vietnam, civil rights, Watergate, New York politics and sports. He authored many fiction and non-fiction books and served as editor of both the Daily News and the Post.

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2004, New Orleans, LA, Steve Lopez

Steve LopezLopez joined the Los Angeles Times in 2001 after four years at Time Inc., where he wrote the “Campaign Diary,” a road journal filed during the 2000 presidential campaign, and the “American Scene” column, for which he traveled the United States. Prior to Time, Steve columnized for 12 years at The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he won various writing awards. His time in Philly gave him material for Land of the Giants: Where No Good Deed Goes Unpunished and three novels.

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2003, Tucson, AZ, Andy Rooney (1919-2011)

Andy RooneyOnce described by Time magazine as “The most felicitous nonfiction writer in television,” CBS News correspondent Rooney has won the Writers Guild Award for Best Script of the Year six times, more than any other writer. In addition to his work at CBS, Rooney writes a column two days a week for Tribune Media Services, which appears in 200 newspapers across the nation.

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2002, Pittsburgh, PA, Chuck Stone (1924-2014)

Chuck StoneIn 1991, Stone crucified his last politician in the pages of the Philadelphia Daily News and “retired” to teach at the University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications where he holds the distinguished Walter Spearman professorship. During his long and varied career, Chuck received many awards – and many surrenders from suspects afraid to turn themselves into the police.

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2001, San Francisco, CA, Nat Hentoff

Hat HentoffA jazz critic and former editor of Down Beat magazine (1953-1957), Nat is a clear-eyed critic of the American education system, and a tireless defender of the First Amendment. In addition to his weekly Village Voice column, Hentoff has written on music for The Wall Street Journal.

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2000, Washington, D.C., Mary McGrory (1918-2004)

Mary McGroryShe made her debut as a columnist in 1954 when the Washington Star assigned her to cover the Army-McCarthy hearings. Syndicated since 1960, her column captured the mood of Watergate in 1974 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1975. She moved to The Washington Post in 1981 and received numerous national awards.

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1999, Louisville, KY, Celestine Sibley (1914-1999)

Celestine SibleyAt the Atlanta Journal & Constitution, she was a landmark columnist in 20th century Georgia journalism. Celestine wrote more than 10,000 columns and news stories for the Atlanta Constitution, where she worked from 1941 to 1999. She is remembered by her peers as a great reporter and writer.

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1998, San Diego, CA, Richard Reeve

Richard ReevesRichard Reeves, who writes a twice-weekly column for Universal Press that appears in 160 papers, is a former chief political correspondent for The New York Times and is the author of nine books.

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1997, Williamsburg, VA, David Broder  (1929-2011)

David BroderA longtime political columnist for The Washington Post, David is considered the dean of American political writers. Broder is a thoughtful and sensitive writer on the American political scene who is not above pointing out to readers his own mistakes in previous political coverage.

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1996, Snowbird, UT, Art Hoppe (1925-2000)

Art HoppeArt Hoppe wrote a column for the San Francisco Chronicle for nearly four decades. Hoppe, who captured his readers with a wonderful blend of humor, satire and grace, died at the age of 74. His stories were models of sharp writing and keen details that made him an institution in the Bay Area.

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1995, Kansas City, MO, William Raspberry (1935-2012)

William RaspberryThe urban affairs columnist for The Washington Post won the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for tackling such topics as crime, AIDS, the Nation of Islam and violent rap lyrics. His column first appeared in the Post in 1966 on the Metro page, them moved to the editorial page.

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1994, Sarasota, FL, Molly Ivins (1944-2007)

Molly IvinsA columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Molly was long one of America’s most popular syndicated columnists. She is remembered at NSNC for setting up a betting pool in the conference’s hospitality suite during the infamous O.J. Simpson/Bronco chase that occurred several hours after she received her award. (Ivins won the pool.) She is best known for her liberal political views and humorous wit, which endeared her to the readers of her commentary.

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1993, Portland, OR, Herb Caen (1916-1997)

Herb CaenThe legendary columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle was the NSNC’s first Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement recipient and amazed everyone at the NSNC Conference with his energy. In 1996, his unabashed love for the City by the Bay resulted in a Special Award Pulitzer Prize. He died in 1997 after 59 years of column writing.

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