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    Description

    1974 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal to Newsday
    Awarded for 'The Heroin Trail'

    1974 Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal. 14-kt gold, 66.5 mm, 138.5 gm. Edge inscribed "MEDALLIC ART CO. N.Y. 14KT." The third of three fabulously rare and never before offered gold Pulitzer Prize medals, this piece was awarded to the Long Island-based Newsday "For its definitive report on the illicit narcotic traffic in the United States and abroad, entitled, 'The Heroin Trail,' " according to the Pulitzer website (www.pulitzer.org). Awarded solely for journalism in the public service, these medals are the only one among 21 categories for which gold medals are awarded, and never to individuals, only to newspapers, as per Pulitzer specifications.
    In a series of 32 articles published Feb. 1-March 4, 1973, the newspaper exposed the trail that heroin took from the poppy fields of Turkey to the veins of drug users and addicts in America. The Newsday articles published the names of 54 Turkish citizens that it alleged were among leaders in the illegal export of opium.
    The series identified members of a French heroin ring, charging connections with members of the French government and secret service. The newspaper also named alleged dealers in New York City and Long Island, some of whom were later arrested.
    Obverse: Around the periphery, FOR DISINTERESTED AND MERITORIOUS PUBLIC SERVICE. In four lines, RENDERED BY A / UNITED STATES NEWSPAPER / DURING THE YEAR / 1974. Bottom: JOSEPH PULITZER MEDAL. The central figure is a high-relief figure of a barechested man operating an archaic printing press. Monogram D.C.F. (for Daniel Chester French) in small letters with stylized "A" (artist?) below. At bottom, JOSEPH PULITZER MEDAL.
    Reverse: Figure of Benjamin Franklin in profile left, with HONORIS / CAUSA on either side. Below, AWARDED BY COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY / TO / NEWSDAY, the last incused and hand-stamped.
    The 19 in the date is incused in the master die, while the digits 74 is incused and hand-stamped into the medal, using a serif font. (The 9 shows the same die markers on all three gold medals, tiny comma-shaped gouges on the top loop and descender of the digit. That the digits 19 are in the master die clearly indicates that a new, retooled master die was needed after the 1999 medals.)
    Considerable luster remains on the satiny surfaces of this gorgeous and phenomenal piece. Essentially as struck, the piece is housed in its original black box of issue from the Medallic Art Co., whose gilt lettering is on the reverse.
    It is only through an unlikely confluence of events--how many estate liquidations have three gold Pulitzer Prize medals?--that Heritage is privileged to offer such a trio of rare specimens: gold Pulitzer medals from the only Pulitzer category that is awarded such an accolade, journalism in the public service. It goes without saying that to medal collectors, these three lots of gold Pulitzer Prize medals likely represent an opportunity that is unlikely to be repeated in a lifetime. (NGC ID# 2TGG, PCGS# 661340)


    Learn more at the Newman Numismatic Portal at Washington University in St. Louis.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2007
    27th-28th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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