-By JOSHUA FALK
David Kennedy ‘63,professor emeritus of his-
tory, was elected co-chair of the Pulitzer Prize
Board last week.
Kennedy, along with Amanda Bennett, an ex-
ecutive editor for Bloomberg News, will serve a
one-year term,succeeding Anders Gyllenhaal,ex-
ecutive editor of The Miami Herald.
“Not unlike a great university like Stanford,
the Pulitzer Board considers itself to be the
guardian and steward of excellence,” Kennedy
said.The Pulitzer Prize is awarded annually for ex-
cellence in journalism,letters,drama and music.
“I’ve watched other people chair the board
over the years,” said Kennedy, who has been a
board member since 2002.“I’ve got some wonder-
ful models to follow.”
Kennedy won the Pulitzer Prize for history in
2000 for his book “Freedom From Fear: The
American People in Depression and War.”
Of the 21 prizes the board grants,all but seven
are for journalism.
The board consists mostly of journalists, in-
cluding New York Times columnist Thomas L.
Friedman and Associated Press executive editor
and senior vice president Kathleen Carroll,
“One of the things I hope to accomplish as
chair is to rebalance membership so it better mir-
rors the distribution of the prizes,”Kennedy said.
He emphasized that the journalists and aca-
demics on the board often face challenges in
judging categories with which they are less famil-
“The categories that the board always strug-
gles with are music and poetry,”he said.“We have
less confidence, to be frank with you, in our ex-
pertise in those areas.”
“For me it’s been an education to be on the
board,” Kennedy added. “I’ve learned a lot — I
mean a lot — about the world of journalism.”
President John Hennessy praised Kennedy’s
“Professor Kennedy is both a distinguished
historian and a celebrated author. I think he will
be an excellent co-chair for the Pulitzer Prize
Board,”Hennessy wrote in an e-mail to The Daily.
Kennedy joined the
University faculty in
1967 and currently
serves as the co-director
of the Bill Lane Center
for the Ameri