Newspaperman John Daniell ‘‘Jack’’ Maurice (October 23, 1913-December 20, 1999) was the only West Virginia journalist to win a Pulitzer Prize. Maurice was born in Vivian, McDowell County, and grew up in the West Virginia and Kentucky coalfields. After Huntington High School, he moved on to Marshall College (now University) and graduated magna cum laude in 1935. Immediately upon graduation from Marshall, Maurice began his newspaper career as a reporter with the Huntington Herald-Dispatch.
In 1938, he joined the staff of the Charleston Daily Mail as a reporter. World War II interrupted his career in 1943, and he served three years in the U.S. Navy Reserve, where he attained the rank of lieutenant. Maurice returned to the Daily Mail in 1946 as the newspaper’s chief editorial writer. In 1950, he was named editor, and in 1969 he became editor-in-chief. In 1979, he became a contributing editor and columnist, retiring in 1984.
In 1958, Maurice won the Sigma Delta Chi award for editorial writing. His most notable accomplishment came in 1975, when he won journalism’s highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize, for a series of editorials he wrote the year before amid a battle over textbooks in Kanawha County. Jack Maurice died in Charleston. His daughter, Johanna Maurice, was the editorial page editor of the Daily Mail for many years.
Last Revised on May 14, 2013