US Coins

Jewish-American Hall of Fame medal is Pulitzer prize

Newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer is honored on the 2017 Jewish-American Hall of Fame medal.

Medal images courtesy of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame.

Publisher Joseph Pulitzer is the subject of the 2017 Jewish-American Hall of Fame medal.

The medal marks the centennial of the award bestowed in his name, the Pulitzer Prize, first awarded in 1917.

The 2017 medal was designed by renowned sculptor Eugene Daub. The high relief portrait is adopted from a painting by John Singer Sargent, and Pulitzer’s still timely quote is featured on the reverse: “Our Republic and its press will rise or fall together.” 

The 2017 medals were minted by Medallic Art Co., which also produced the original Pulitzer Prize medals in 1917. 

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The Pulitzer medal is the 48th issued by the JAHF, in a series that was called one of the most “important series of medals issued [in America] in recent years” in the 1990 Fédération Internationale de la Médaille d’Art catalog. 

The series has honored such luminaries as magician Harry Houdini, scientist Albert Einstein, singer Barbra Streisand, playwright Arthur Miller, and many more. 

Pulitzer arrived in Boston from Hungary in 1864 at the age of 17, his passage having been paid by Massachusetts military recruiters who were seeking soldiers for the American Civil War. 

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Pulitzer was one of Sheridan’s troopers, in the First New York Lincoln Cavalry in Company L., where he served for eight months. 

On March 6, 1867, Pulitzer became an American citizen.

Pulitzer was no stranger to anti-Semitism. In his early career as a reporter, he was nicknamed “Joey the Jew.” And when he was the successful publisher of the New York World, Charles Dana, editor of the rival New York Sun, attacked Pulitzer in print, using derogatory terms like “Judas Pulitzer.” 

In 1879, Joseph Pulitzer bought both the St. Louis Dispatch and the St. Louis Post, merging the two papers as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. With his own paper, Pulitzer developed his role as a champion of the common man, featuring exposés and a hard-hitting populist approach called Yellow Journalism.

The Pulitzer Prizes were established in 1917 by money bequeathed by Pulitzer to Columbia University to recognize artistic and journalistic achievements in the United States. 

The prizes are given annually to award achievements in American journalism and photography, as well as literature and history, poetry, music and drama. 

The Columbia School of Journalism opened in 1912, thanks to Pulitzer’s philanthropic bequest.

The 2-inch-diameter Pulitzer JAHF art medal is available in bronze, gold-plated .999 fine silver, and .999 fine silver editions. Each medal is numbered on the edge and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

The bronze version has a mintage limit of 150 pieces and is available for a $50 donation to the JAHF. 

The 2.5-ounce silver medal has a mintage limit of 75 pieces and is available for a $200 donation. 

The gold-plated 2.5-ounce silver medal is limited to a mintage of 35 pieces and is available for a $250 donation.

Coin World readers are eligible for a 20 percent discount by mentioning the publication’s name. Shipping and handling are an additional charge.

To order the medal, telephone series creator Mel Wacks at 818-225-1348. 

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