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Literary History - May 17, 2013

Q: Who was the first Kansan to win the Pulitzer Prize?

WilliamAllenWhiteEmporiaGazette KHSAn informal view of newspaper editor William Allen White (1868-1944) standing next to a car parked in front of "The Emporia Gazette" office in Emporia, Kan. White gained national fame with his editorial "What's the Matter with Kansas?" during the Populist era in the 1890s. Date: Between 1915 and 1929 (Photo Courtesy of Kansas Historical Society /

A: William Allen White (publisher of the Emporia Gazette)


WilliamAllenWhiteTypewriter KHSWilliamAllenWhiteDesk KHSThe so called “Sage of Emporia” apparently had “All the White Stuff!” In 1923, Emporia Gazette editor 

William Allen White became the first Kansan and University of Kansas alum to win the prestigious Pulitzer Prize. He was awarded the honor for his 1922 editorial titled “To An Anxious Friend,” which was a passionate defense of free speech. White’s editorial spread across the country and was reprinted in numerous publications.

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