May 5, 1942
Reveille in Washington (1941), a study of the nation’s capital during the Civil War by Margaret Leech’15, won the Pulitzer Prize in History. A journalist, novelist and biographer, Leech traced her writing career to her first job, with the Condé Nast publishing firm, where for $12 a week she wrote responses in the complaint department. Her five years’ work on the book on Washington, DC, in wartime taught her, she told The New York Times, that “democracy is tough enough to take anything.”
Leech, the widow of Ralph Pulitzer, the son of the founder of the prizes, won a second Pulitzer Prize in History in 1960 for In the Days of McKinley (1959), which also won the prestigious Bancroft Prize.