The 1900's
The Pulitzer Prize

The Pulitzer Prize
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.26

     challenging words:    prestige, songwriter, bulldog, photography, playwright, original, yearly, biography, journalism, wealthy, jury, teens, corrupt, poetry, education, best-selling
     content words:    Pulitzer Prize, Joseph Pulitzer, Civil War, United States, Lincoln Cavalry, Louis Post-Dispatch, New York City, New York World, New York, Columbia University

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The Pulitzer Prize
By Jane Runyon

1     April is a time for excitement if you are an author, a songwriter, a poet, or a reporter. The Pulitzer Prize is awarded each year in April. The first Pulitzer was given in 1917. Since that time, it has become one of the most treasured awards given. Just what is the prize all about? And who is Pulitzer?
2     Joseph Pulitzer was one of the most famous journalists of the late 1800s. That's not the life he saw for himself as a lad. He was born in Hungary on April 10, 1847. He came from a wealthy family. His education came from private schools and tutors. Then, in his teens, his family lost its money. Joseph needed to work, but he didn't know what he wanted to be. He finally decided he would like to be a soldier. He was turned down by the armies of three different countries. Why? He had very poor eyesight, and he was not in very good health. He didn't let that stop him. Joseph read about the Civil War going on in the United States. He found out that some men did not want to fight in this war. They were paying other men, some from foreign countries, to fight for them. Joseph Pulitzer jumped at the chance. He sailed for America. He ended up fighting for the Lincoln Cavalry.
3     After his time was served, Pulitzer worked at odd jobs to travel across the country. When he arrived in St. Louis, he decided to stay. He found any job he could to make a living. He drove mules, carried luggage at the train station, and waited on tables. He spent a lot of time in the library learning all he could about the country and the English language. One day he watched a chess game in one of the library's rooms. He couldn't help himself. He began to tell the players what moves they should have made. Instead of being angry, the players were impressed with Joseph's knowledge. As it turned out, the two men were newspaper editors. One of them offered Joseph a job on his newspaper. That was the beginning of a long and famous career.

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The 1900's
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United States
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