The Pulitzer Prize for Biography is one of the seven American Pulitzer Prizes that are annually awarded for Letters, Drama, and Music. It has been presented since 1917 for a distinguished biography, autobiography or memoir by an American author or co-authors, published during the preceding calendar year. Thus it is one of the original Pulitzers, for the program was inaugurated in 1917 with seven prizes, four of which were awarded that year.
In its first 97 years to 2013, the Biography Pulitzer was awarded 97 times. Two were given in 1938, none in 1962.
Entries from this point on include the finalists listed after the winner for each year.
Ten people have won the Pulitzer for Biography or Autobiography twice:
- Burton J. Hendrick, 1923, 1929
- Allan Nevins, 1933, 1937
- Marquis James, 1930, 1938
- Douglas S. Freeman, 1935, 1958
- Samuel Eliot Morison, 1943, 1960
- Walter Jackson Bate, 1964, 1978
- David Herbert Donald, 1961, 1988
- David Levering Lewis, 1994, 2001
- David McCullough, 1993, 2002
- Robert Caro, 1975, 2003
W. A. Swanberg was selected by the Pulitzer board in 1962 and 1973; however, the trustees of Columbia University (then responsible for conferral of the awards) overturned the proposed 1962 prize for Citizen Hearst.