Locals Push for Posthumous Prize
Journalists work to get late Herald editor Ed Kennedy a Pulitzer for WWII reporting.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
He witnessed Germany surrender to the allies in 1945 and broke the news that WWII was over, arguably the biggest scoop of the 20th century.
And yet Ed Kennedy’s reporting – which defied a U.S. government order to keep mum on Germany’s surrender for 36 hours – not only got him sacked from the Associated Press, but largely discredited him in journalism circles.
Sixty-seven years later, a group of journalists – early supporters include Pulitzer-winning photographers Sal Veder and Kim Komenich – are working to nominate Kennedy for a 2013 posthumous Pulitzer award.
Ray March, who worked at The Monterey Herald when Kennedy was its editor, is leading the effort in cooperation with Kennedy’s daughter, Julia Cochran.
“If Kennedy had not been ostracized by the corporate structure of AP and the government, he would have been awarded a Pulitzer,” March says.
Sig Gissler, administrator for the Pulitzer Prizes, says the board considers posthumous candidates in November. “They are rarely given in the field of journalism,” he says.
Eric Brazil, who edited The Salinas Californian when Kennedy was editor of the Herald, is part of March’s committee. “My attitude towards Ed Kennedy was somewhere between fear and reverence,” he says.
A posthumous Pulitzer will validate Kennedy’s armistice reporting, Brazil says, “and recognize him for his courage and initiative to defy political censorship. [It will] correct a historical wrong.”