Two CUNY Professors Win 1999 Pulitzer Prize for History Former Professor Wins Pulitzer for Music

April 14, 1999 | The University

City University of New York history professors, Edwin G. Burrows of Brooklyn College and Mike Wallace of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, were awarded the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for History on April 12 for their book Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, published by Oxford University Press. Former Hunter College assistant professor of music Melinda Wagner was similarly honored with the Pulitzer Prize for Music for her “Concerto for Flute, Strings and Percussion.”

Commenting on the History Prize, Dr. Anne A. Paolucci, Chairwoman of the CUNY Board of Trustees said, “Gotham: a History of New York City to 1898 is a superb work and we at CUNY are delighted to have its authors teaching in our colleges.”

Interim Chancellor Christoph M. Kimmich said, “We are pleased and delighted that the Pulitzer Board has chosen to honor Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, written by two CUNY professors, with the 1999 Prize for History. It seems fitting that Professors Edwin Burrows of Brooklyn College and Mike Wallace of John Jay College of Criminal Justice have written a seminal historical work on New York City while teaching at CUNY-itself a vital force in our city’s history and success.”

Professor Wallace, a native New Yorker currently living in Brooklyn,has taught history to police officers and others at John Jay College since 1971. His courses include the History of New York City and the History of Crime in New York City. He is now working solo on the second volume of Gotham, which will cover the history of New York City in the Twentieth Century.

Professor Wallace earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Columbia University, studying with Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Richard Hofstadter, with whom he collaborated on a history of American Violence, published by Knopf in 1970. Professor Wallace helped found, and for 25 years has helped publish and edit, the Radical History Review, now affiliated with Cambridge University Press. He has also published a series of essays that explore the ways history is used and abused in American popular culture and is now the senior historical consultant to Ric Burns, who is making a multipart history of New York City for public television.

Professor Burrows has taught history at Brooklyn College since 1972, following stints at Lehman College and Marymount College, Tarrytown. Earlier this year he and Professor Wallace were named Centennial Historians of New York by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Professor Burrows is also the author of Albert Gallatin and the Political Economy of Republicanism and has contributed to numerous books and other publications. Since 1988 he has been a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Long Island History and was formerly a member of the Academic Advisory Panel of the New York Historical Society. A resident of Northport, New York, Dr. Burrows earned his B.A. at the University of Michigan and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Columbia University.