Filipino Pulitzer Prize Winners: Complete List of Pinoys Who Have Won the Prestigious Award

This is a list of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans who have won a Pulitzer Prize. Started in 1917, the Pulitzer Prize award achievements in journalism, literature, and musical composition. Each winner is given a certificate as well as a cash award of US$15,000.

Carlos Romulo (1942, for Correspondence) 

Romulo is the very first Filipino to win the prestigious Pulitzer Prize and the first non-American to win in the Correspondence category. He was recognized for his work in The Philippines Herald. He was given the award for "his observations and forecasts of Far Eastern developments during a tour of the trouble centers from Hong Kong to Batavia". The pieces he wrote were mostly prewar evaluations of the military situation in the Pacific area. At that time, he was an aide to the American General Douglas MacArthur. Romulo is a towering figure in the history of Philippine journalism. He has written 22 books, among which are the classics I See the Philippines Rise, Mother America, I Saw the Fall of the Philippines, I Walked with Heroes and The United. Romulo died in 1985 and was buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Manuel "Manny" Mogato (2018, for International Reporting)

Mogato shared the award with his colleagues Clare Baldwin and Andrew R.C. Marshall of Reuters "for relentless reporting that exposed the brutal killing campaign behind Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs." The Reuters team wrote a series of pieces called "Duterte's War" which exposed abuses in the bloody campaign. The articles came with exclusive photos, videos, and numerical figures. Included in the series of investigative reports was a story about Kian delos Santos, the 17-year-old boy who died in the hands of the Philippine police.

Filipino-Americans


Byron Acohido (1997; for Beat Reporting)

In 1996, Acohido wrote a series of investigative articles for The Seattle Times about the aerospace industry. Many of these articles were about control problems with the Boeing 737 and the Boeing 747. Acohido's investigation showed a link between a dangerous defect in the rudder controls of Boeing 737 jetliners and a series of plane crashes that killed hundreds of people. Acohido's exhaustive research and reporting got the attention of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The articles contributed to the development of new FAA rules and requirements that led to great improvements in the aerospace industry with regards to safety. Acohido founded the The Last Watchdog on Privacy and Security.

Alex Tizon (1997; for Investigative Reporting) 

Tizon shared the prize with his colleagues Eric Nalder and Deborah Nelson at The Seattle Times. They wrote a five-part series detailing their investigation of fraud and mismanagement in the Federal Indian Housing Program. The FIHP is a federally-sponsored housing program for Native Americans. Tizon, Nalder and Nelson exposed widespread corruption and inequities in the program. Their work inspired much-needed reforms in the program. In 2014, his memoir Big Little Man: In Search of My Asian Self was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. His last published article was My Family's Slave, a biographical piece that was the cover story for the June 2017 issue of The Atlantic. The story went viral online especially among Filipino readers. He died two months before the publication of My Family's Slave.

Cheryl Diaz Meyer (2004; for Breaking News Photography) 

Meyer shared the award with her colleague David Leeson at The Dallas Morning News. They duo earned the recognition for "their eloquent photographs depicting both the violence and poignancy of the war with Iraq." Meyer worked as a senior staff photographer with The Dallas Morning News since 2000. Her work has also appeared in various prestigious publications such as Newsweek, The Los Angele Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Meyer was born in Quezon City in the Philippines but moved to the United States when she was thirteen.

Jose Antonio Vargas (2008; for Breaking News Reporting) 

Vargas was part of The Washington Post team that won the prize for their coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting where 32 people were killed and 17 others were wounded. Vargas was hired by The Washington Post in 2004 right after his graduation from San Francisco State. Vargas has also written for other publications such as The Huffington Post, Philadelphia Daily News, San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times Magazine, Time, and The New Yorker. In a piece for The New Yorker, he wrote a profile of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Vargas was born in Antipolo in the Philippines. He was sent by his mother to live with his grandparents in the United States when he was twelve years old.

Nominated/Finalist


Ezra Acayan (2021; in Feature Photography) 

Acayan is part of the Staff of Getty Images that received that nomination. They got the nod for their thorough coverage of the impact of the pandemic to the global community. They were among the three finalists in the category. The award was eventually won by Emilio Morenatti of the Associated Press. The other finalist was Tyler Hicks of The New York Times.

Romeo Gacad (1989, 2002 and 2003) 

Gacad is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and a three-time Pulitzer Prize nominee. In 1989, he made it to the finals for his powerful photo of Ben Johnson and Carl Lewis at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The photo was a finish-line capture of the two athletes in the 100-meter dash finals race. In 2002, he made it again to the finals with his photos of the war in Afghanistan that were published by TIME magazine. His photo of a silhouette of an Afghan fighter was featured on the magazine cover. Gacad received his third nomination in 2003 for his coverage of the Iraq War.

In October of 2021, Gacad passed away at the age of 62. Cause of death was liver complications related to a wild-type gastrointestinal stromal tumor cancer. At the time of his passing, Gacad was Agence France Presse's photo editor for Thailand and Southeast Asia.