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Know Gobind Behari Lal, the first Indian to win the prestigious Pulitzer prize

In 1937, Gobind Behari Lal had won the Pulitzer Prize for journalism, along with four others, for his coverage in the field of science

May 05, 2020 / 07:32 PM IST
Pulitzer Prize (Wikimedia)

Pulitzer Prize (Wikimedia)

Three photojournalists from Jammu and Kashmir, who were associated with a foreign wire service, won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize and made the nation proud.

However, this is not the first time an Indian has won the prestigious award. In fact, the first time an Indian won the award was way back in 1937. Gobind Behari Lal had won the Pulitzer Prize for journalism, along with four others, for his coverage in the field of science.

Although he was an Indian by birth, his journalism days were spent largely in the United States and he breathed his last in the foreign land too.

Behari Lal was the son of Bishan Lal, who governed the princely state of Bikaner in Rajasthan.

After taking part in India’s freedom struggle, he moved to the United States to pursue higher studies on a scholarship. He graduated from St Stephens College in Delhi and did his doctorate on ‘Science and Polity in India’ from the University of California before eventually making a career in journalism.

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His career as a journalist began with the San Francisco Daily News in 1922. He later became the senior editor emeritus of The San Francisco Examiner and was the first journalist ever to take the byline as a “science writer”. Throughout his career, he wrote on a variety of topics and interviewed many eminent personalities, including Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Einstein.

Later, in the year 1969, he was awarded the prestigious Padma Bhushan for his contributions in the field of literature and education.

Other Indians or Indian-origin personalities who won the Pulitzer are Jhumpa Lahiri, Geeta Anand and Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee.
Jagyaseni Biswas
first published: May 5, 2020 07:32 pm

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