Two MU graduates among Pulitzer Prize winners

Monday, April 14, 2014 | 7:47 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The votes are in, and the awards are out: Two MU graduates are among the winners of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize announced Monday.

Chris Hamby, who earned his investigative journalism master's degree in 2010, won the investigative reporting award for his articles about fraud against coal miners with black lung. His series, titled "Breathless and Burdened: Dying from the Black Lung, Buried by Law and Medicine," was published by the Center for Public Integrity.

Steven Rich, who earned his investigative and data journalism master's degree in 2013, works as the database editor for investigations at the Washington Post, which won the public service award with The Guardian for revealing and contextualizing the National Security Agency's secret surveillance techniques.

Jonathan Sperber, a history professor at MU, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in the biography category for his book, "Karl Marx: a Nineteenth-Century Life." Sperber has taught at MU since 1987.

Rich was visiting his parents in the Philadelphia area for Passover when he got the news of his Pulitzer win.

"I'm still kind of in awe," he said. "You don't do journalism for the awards, but when you do, it hits you hard."

Rich and Hamby have reported for the Columbia Missourian.

A full list of the Pulitzer Prize winners can be found at

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