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Historian Goodwin Withdraws From Judging Pulitzer Prizes

The Nation

March 05, 2002|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who recently admitted copying passages from other works in one of her best-selling books, has withdrawn from judging the Pulitzer Prizes next month.

Pulitzer board administrator Seymour Topping said Monday that Goodwin "decided not to participate" when the board meets April 4 and 5 to choose the 21 prizes for books, drama, music and journalism work done last year.

In a March 3 letter to board Chairman John S. Carroll, the historian said, "[B]ecause I am so distracted by the media focus on my work, I do not feel capable of giving the considerable time needed to make the proper judgments."

The Pulitzers, journalism's highest honor, are awarded by Columbia University on the recommendation of the 18-member board, which considers nominations from Pulitzer juries.

Topping said it was the first time any board member had withdrawn under such circumstances, and no replacement will be named.

Carroll, editor of the Los Angeles Times, said the board would "do whatever was necessary to maintain the highest standard of integrity for the Pulitzer Prize process."

Goodwin's withdrawal, he said, would "allow this year's judging to proceed without distraction."

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