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Member blog post: Pulitzer Prize and JAWS

Member Blog Post l

MegHeckmanHeadshotBy Meg Heckman, JAWS member

I spent a couple of days last fall in the basement of a library in rural Maine, picking through letters written by two sisters a century ago. I was there at the behest of the Pulitzer Prize organization, researching one of dozens of stories published this year to celebrate the prizes’ centennial.

My task was to find out about Laura Richards and Maude Howe Elliott, the first two women to ever win the Pulitzer. Together, they produced a sweeping biography of their mother, the abolitionist and suffragist Julia Ward Howe. (If that names takes you back to grade school history, it’s probably because she also wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic.) Their accomplishment was, as I noted in the story, especially remarkable given the limited opportunities for women during that time.