Letters about the Pulitzer Prize

Let me tell you about Art Cullen.

Art Cullen and I have been very good friends for a long time.

I worked at the newspaper in Algona, Iowa as an advertising rep where Art once worked. The stories concerning Art were legendary, where men twice his size would come into the newspaper office ready to kill him, yelling over the counter to get at him over an editorial he wrote the previous day. But he was undaunted and fearless.

We have had are disagreements as well... he is so liberal I swear he writes with his left hand. I remember when he and John started the newspaper, and knew if anything, that the one thing they would do is shake things up.  He wrote the most cherished piece of writing I have read, in an editorial about my father after his passing that I have framed and displayed in a prized position in my office.

He is stubborn, tenacious, talented, and one of my closest friends. And... he is now a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist!  Well done Art! Most deserved!


Kansas City, formerly of Storm Lake


Wow. I’m at a loss of words to describe my pride in your work and you being recognized with a Pulitzer.

Father Whalen should be standing up in his grave and cheering.



The Gazette, Cedar Rapids


I know the congratulatory messages are coming from all corners of the nation.  I would like to add my appreciation for your work on behalf of Iowans to hold the powerful to account.  You are a journalist’s journalist.

I am proud and honored to serve with you on the Iowa Freedom of Information Council.

Now, back to work!


News Director, WHO Television, Des Moines


Just want to say congratulations on winning the Pulitzer Prize.  It is an honor to serve with a journalist of your caliber on the Iowa Freedom of Information Council.


News Director, KTIV Television, Sioux City


So proud of my hometown newspaper and the daring, “damn it, I love this town and this state” attitude, and intellectual heartbeat that runs through each and every article! Congratulations! A well-deserved honor!


Boca Raton, Fla.


How else to start this note but with the heartiest of praise for earning the Pulitzer Prize! I am a native Iowan, though from the other side of the state (Cedar Rapids, born and bred) and deeply interested in journalism, so naturally it is incredibly exciting to see your publication honored so highly. Scrolling through the Pulitzer laureates this morning, I mostly saw the usual suspects among the winners and finalists: David Fahrenthold, CJ Chivers, the team that broke the Panama Papers story, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, and so on. But then, a double take – Storm Lake, Iowa! I was shocked in the best way one can be, and was struck by the importance of intelligent, determined journalism, no matter the locale. I hope the Times’ award will inspire other small- and medium-sized papers around the country to pursue local issues more aggressively, but in the meantime, enjoy your new entry into a club in which very few people in your profession can claim membership. Again, congratulations, and know that Iowans from all over the state are proud of what you’ve accomplished.


Washington University in St. Louis


I couldn’t be prouder of the way your tiny staff put Storm Lake on the world map. A Pulitzer is the dream of every writer and publisher. You can be sure I’ll be representing The Storm Lake Times in my journalism class next fall.

Best wishes and congratulations.


1977 graduate of Storm Lake High


My name is Sean McMorris. I read today in the LA Times that you had won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Congratulations! I am an Iowa native. I was raised on a farm near Denison, Iowa. I left after high school, partly because of the suffocating conservative, close minded environment. I now live in Los Angeles. I am so proud that you and your newspaper are not afraid to take on Steve King and write about issues that I always felt were taboo to challenge in that area.

Keep up the good work! You have a supporter in L.A.


Los Angeles


I’m sure I’m not the only name from your past that has written, but I simply had to add to the growing pile of congratulatory notes.  Believe it or not, I’ve been reading from afar and admiring (and cheering) your work for quite some time. 

As a lifelong Iowan and passionate fisherman, I’ve long been interested in the quality of water in our great state.  In fact, my eighth grade science fair project included the collection of water samples from the Middle Racoon River in my hometown of Carroll and comparing them to samples collected at the source of the river in northwestern Carroll County.  I also just completed serving my fifth year on the Story County Conservation board which, as you can imagine, had a keen interest in the  Des Moines Water Work’s lawsuit.  We even met with Bill Stowe to better understand his thinking.  And to add to the base of our knowledge, I forwarded some of your editorials to my fellow board members.

I’ve always enjoyed the connection (and partnership) we shared so many years ago.  But I’m also very proud to say I found great value and inspiration from your work.  It’s a great credit to you and your hard work. So, to say I’m thrilled for you is an understatement. 

I’ll hope our paths can cross again someday.  I’d certainly enjoy the opportunity to share a cup of coffee or enjoy lunch with you to catch up with you and to smile over our past.  But to also celebrate such a remarkable and well deserved achievement.    


Chief Operating Officer, Iowa Subway Development, Ames


Congratulations on winning the Pulitzer for editorial writing! As an Iowa native, I was thrilled to see the award go to Buena Vista’s local newspaper. I’ve moved to New England but continue to have concerns about industrial agriculture’s disregard for responsible farming practices in Iowa. And as you’ve pointed out, legislature’s failure to address the issue with anything but voluntary conservation programs. 

I appreciated the wit and thoroughness of your investigation. And I plan on sharing your writings with friends in my new home along with my friends and family back in Des Moines. 

Embarrassingly, as a Des Moines kid myself, I hadn’t heard of The Storm Lake Times until the Pulitzer announcement. But it makes me proud to see such awesome reporting from fellow Iowans who too often are cast off as residents of “just another fly-over state” out here on the East Coast. 

Thanks for working to shed light on such an important issue.


Former Iowan


I want to congratulate you on your Pulitzer Prize.  I do not receive your paper as I live in Oregon but anxiously await reading your articles, especially the editorials, when I visit Storm Lake.  I have always found your editorials and opinions to be progressive and well expressed.  I refer to some of your articles when discussing the pipeline, agriculture, immigrants etc. with friends out here.  I have considered getting an e-subscription and am now, more than ever, motivated to do so. 

I went to St. Mary’s and fondly recall one of the Cullens reciting Alice’s Restaurant on the school steps many years ago! 


Roseburg, Ore.


A librarian always keeps track of the annual Pulitzer Prizes announcement. How wonderful it was to read the official Pulitzer document and see your name.

Congratulations on a job well done!


Storm Lake Public Library Director