Pulitzer Prizes mark 100th year with Monday's awards

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[April 18, 2016]    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Pulitzer Prizes, established in 1917 with a bequest from trail-blazing publisher Joseph Pulitzer, are marking their 100th year on Monday with the announcement of the winners of what are regarded as the most prestigious awards in American journalism.

The Pulitzers recognize excellence in categories that range from breaking news reporting to public service articles to feature photography. In addition to the journalism awards, there are prizes in fiction, history, drama, music and other literary forms.

All told, there are 21 prizes in play every year. Winners are selected by an independent board after judges make nominations from a total of 2,400 entries across the range of categories. The board has the option of naming no winner in any category.

The announcement takes place at 3 p.m. ET (1900 GMT) on Monday at New York's Columbia University, which founded its School of Journalism with an endowment from Joseph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World and other U.S. newspapers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His will provided funding for the prizes in the early years and named Columbia to administer them.

Over the years, the New York Times has taken more awards than any other news organization, receiving 117 Pulitzer Prizes and citations, according to the newspaper's website.

Last year the paper won three Pulitzers, including an international reporting prize for its coverage of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Last year's Pulitzer for Public Service went to Charleston, South Carolina's Post and Courier for its series on domestic violence.

In the inaugural awards in 1917, Herbert Bayard Swope of the New York World was the prize winner in reporting for a series of articles entitled "Inside the German Empire," while the New York Tribune won the award for editorial writing on its piece on the first anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania.

(Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Frank McGurty and Mary Milliken)

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