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The Bulitzer Prize

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Francis Bulitzer on his 90th birthday
January 4, 1921.

Francis Bulitzer (b. January 4, 1831, d. October 31, 1931), [ne Bolitzer, Ferenc] was a Hungarian-American humorist, newspaperman, publisher and counterfeiter, best known for establishing the annual Bulitzer Prize, and along with Giorgio Cespuglio, for creating the first parody newspaper, The Foothill Monitor. Bulitzer is often referred to as the father of parody journalism.

The Bulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in parody journalism, literature, literary criticism, musical composition and culinary arts, and was established by Francis Bulitzer in 1916. That same year Bulitzer initiated an endowment fund at M. Howard University and created the Bulitzer Prize Foundation. A portion of his bequest was used to found the Francis Bulitzer School of Parody Journalism in 1918, which was endorsed and supported over the years by a number of writers, including Mark Twain, H.L. Mencken, and George S. Kaufman.

The first Bulitzer Prizes were awarded on the evening of April 1, 1917, at a ceremony held at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. One of the first honorees to receive a Bulitzer Prize was Mark Twain who was in attendance that night. Bulitzer Prizes are now awarded each April. Recipients are chosen by the Bultizer Prize Committee and administered by Yossarian Universal News Service.

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