Nobels & Pulitzers

Nobel Laureates & Pulitzer Prize Winners

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

We have 23 Nobel Prizes

Nobel Laureates – Alumni

Edward Doisy

(1892–1986) shared the Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology in 1943. Doisy discovered the chemical nature of vitamin K. His work involved synthesis, isolation, and characterization of the K vitamins. Doisy received two U of I degrees: a Bachelor of Arts (1914) and a Master of Science (1916).

Vincent Du Vigneaud

(1901–1978) won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1955 for his work on “biochemically important sulfur compounds, especially for achieving the first synthesis of a polypeptide hormone.” Du Vigneaud received a Bachelor of Science (1923) and a Master of Science (1924) from the U of I. He served on the University faculty from 1929 to 1932.

Robert Holley

(1922–1993) won the Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology in 1968 for his work determining the precise structure of nucleic acids. He received a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry from the University of Illinois in 1942.

Jack S. Kilby

(1923–2005 ) shared the 2000 Nobel Prize in physics for his part in the invention and development of the integrated circuit, the microchip. Kilby received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois in 1947.

Edwin Krebs

(1918–2009) shared the 1992 Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology with Edmond Fischer for their discoveries in the 1950s concerning reversible protein phosphorylation. Krebs was awarded a U of I Bachelor of Arts degree in 1940.

Polykarp Kusch

(1911–1993) shared the 1955 Nobel Prize in physics for his work toward precise measurement of the magnetic moment of the electron. Kusch received a Master of Science (1933) and a Ph.D. (1936) from the U of I.

John Robert Schrieffer

(1931– ) shared the 1972 Nobel Prize in physics with faculty member John Bardeen and postdoctoral fellow Leon Cooper for their work at the U of I on the theory of superconductivity. Schrieffer received a Master of Science in 1954 and a Ph.D. in 1957 from the University and served on the physics faculty from 1959 to 1962.

Phillip A. Sharp

(1944– ) shared the 1993 Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology for the discovery of split genes, which proved that genes can be composed of several separate segments. Sharp received a Ph.D. in chemistry from the U of I in 1969.

Hamilton Smith

(1931– ) shared the 1978 Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology for “the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to problems of molecular genetics.” Smith graduated from University High School in 1948 and attended the U of I from 1948 to 1950.

Wendell Stanley

(1904–1971) shared the 1946 Nobel Prize in chemistry for contributions to the preparation of enzymes and virus proteins in pure form. Stanley received two U of I degrees: a Master of Science (1927) and a Ph.D. (1929).

Rosalyn Sussman Yalow

(1921–2011) shared the 1977 Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology for the discovery and development of radioimmunoassay, a technique that employs radioactive isotopes to detect and measure the levels of insulin and hormones in the blood and in body tissues. Yalow was the second woman to win the Nobel Prize in medicine. Yalow holds two U of I degrees: a Master of Science (1942) and a Ph.D. (1945).

Nobel Laureates – Faculty

John Bardeen

(1908–1991) won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1956 and 1972, the only person to have won the physics prize twice. He shared the 1956 prize with W. H. Brattain and W. Shockley for research on semiconductors and the invention of the transistor at Bell Labs, and the 1972 prize with L. N. Cooper and J. R. Schrieffer for the theory of superconductivity, developed at the U of I. Bardeen served on the University’s faculty from 1951 until his death in 1991.

Leon N Cooper

(1930– ) shared the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physics with faculty member John Bardeen and alumnus John R. Schreiffer for their development of the theory of superconductivity, usually called the BCS-theory. He was a research associate at the U of I from 1955 to 1957.

Elias Corey

(1928– ) won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1990 for his “development of the theory and methodology of organic synthesis.” Corey served on the faculty in the Department of Chemistry at the University from 1951 to 1959.

Vincent Du Vigneaud

(1901–1978) won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1955 for his work on “biochemically important sulfur compounds, especially for achieving the first synthesis of a polypeptide hormone.” Du Vigneaud received a Bachelor of Science (1923) and a Master of Science (1924) from the U of I. He served on the University faculty from 1929 to 1932.

Murray Gell-Mann

(1929– ) won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1969 for "his contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary particles and their interactions." Gell-Mann was a postdoctoral research associate in 1951 and a visiting research professor from 1952-1953.

Leonid Hurwicz

(1917–2008) shared the Nobel Prize in economics in 2007 with Eric S. Maskin and Roger B. Myerson for "having laid the foundations of mechanism design theory." He served as a faculty member at the University of Illinois Department of Economics from 1949-1951.

Paul C. Lauterbur

(1929–2007) shared the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 2003 with Sir Peter Mansfield for "seminal discoveries concerning the use of magnetic resonance to visualize different structures." Lauterbur was among the first scientists to use nuclear magnetic resonance in the studies of molecules, solutions, and solids. Lauterbur joined the U of I faculty in 1985.

Anthony J. Leggett

(1938– ) shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in physics with Alexei A. Abrikosov and Vitaly L. Ginzburg for "pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids." Leggett formulated the decisive theory explaining how atoms interact and are ordered in the superfluid state. Leggett joined the U of I faculty in 1983.

Salvador Luria

(1912–1991) won the Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology in 1969 with Max Delbruck and Alfred Hershey for discoveries concerning the replication mechanism and the genetic structure of viruses. He served as a professor of bacteriology at the University from 1950 to 1959.

Sir Peter Mansfield

(1933– ) shared the 2003 Nobel Prize in Medicine with faculty member Paul C. Lauterbur for “seminal discoveries concerning the use of magnetic resonance to visualize different structures.” Mansfield was a research associate in the U of I department of physics from 1962 to 1964.

Rudolph Marcus

(1923– ) won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1992 for contributions to the theory of how electrons are transferred between molecules—work that helps explain such phenomena as rust and how plants draw nourishment from light. He served as a faculty member in the U of I Department of Chemistry from 1964 to 1978 and completed much of his prize-winning research at the University.

Franco Modigliani

(1918–2003) won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1985 for two major theories: one on personal finance and one on corporate finance. He served as a faculty member in the U of I Department of Economics from 1948 to 1952.

John Robert Schrieffer

(1931– ) shared the 1972 Nobel Prize in physics with faculty member John Bardeen and postdoctoral fellow Leon Cooper for their work at the U of I on the theory of superconductivity. Schrieffer received a Master of Science in 1954 and a Ph.D. in 1957 from the University and served on the physics faculty from 1959 to 1962.

2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Al Gore and to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for their efforts in building and disseminating greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures needed to counteract that change. Eight faculty members and research scientists on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign served on the IPCC and were acknowledged by the organization for their contributions to the Nobel-earning work.

Donald Wuebbles and Michael Schlesinger were recognized by special certificate by the IPCC for their leadership roles in the work.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Team

  • Natalia Andronova, Adjunct Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
  • William Chapman, Research Scientist, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
  • Katharine Hayhoe, Adjunct Research Scientist, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
  • Atul Jain, Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
  • Ken Patten, Research Scientist, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
  • Michael Schlesinger, Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
  • John Walsh, Professor Emeritus, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
  • Donald Wuebbles, Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences.

Nobel Laureates – University Laboratory High School Graduates

Philip Anderson

(1923– ) won the Nobel Prize in physics in 1977. He shared the prize with John Van Vleck and Nevill Mott for their “fundamental theoretic investigation of the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems.” Anderson graduated from University High School in 1940.

Hamilton Smith

(1931– ) shared the 1978 Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology for “the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to problems of molecular genetics.” Smith graduated from University High School in 1948 and attended the U of I from 1948 to 1950.

James Tobin

(1918-2002) won the Nobel Prize in economics in 1981. Tobin’s work provided “a basis for understanding how subjects actually behave when they acquire different assets and incur debts” by his statement of the “portfolio selection theory” of investment. Tobin graduated from University High School in 1935.

Pulitzer Prize Winners

Pulitzer Prize Winners – Alumni

Leonora LaPeter Anton

(1964– ) received a 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting as part of a team with the Tampa Bay Times that reported on conditions in Florida's state-funded mental hospitals. Anton earned a 1986 degree in journalism.

Barry Bearak

(1949– ) received the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting for his coverage of daily life in war-ravaged Afghanistan. Bearak pursued graduate studies in journalism at the University of Illinois and earned his Master of Science in 1974.

Michael Colgrass

(1932– ) won the 1978 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his piece, Deja Vu for Percussion Quartet and Orchestra, which was commissioned and premiered by the New York Philharmonic. He received his University of Illinois Bachelor of Music degree in 1956.

George Crumb

(1929– ) received the 1968 Pulitzer Prize in Music for Echoes of Time and the River, commissioned to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the University of Chicago. Crumb received his University of Illinois Master of Music degree in 1952.

David Herbert Donald

(1920 – 2009 ) has twice won the Pulitzer Prize in Biography: in 1961 for Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War and in 1988 for Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe. Donald pursued graduate studies in history at the University of Illinois, receiving a Master of Arts in 1942 and a Ph.D. in 1946.

Roger Ebert

(1942–2013) won the first-ever Pulitzer Prize in Criticism in 1975 for his work as film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. Ebert graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science in 1964.

Roy J. Harris

(1902–1980) shared the 1950 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service with fellow University of Illinois alumnus George Thiem. Their work exposed the presence of 37 Illinois newspapermen on an Illinois state payroll. Harris received a University of Illinois Bachelor of Arts in 1925.

Beth Henley

(1952– ) won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her play Crimes of the Heart. Henley pursued graduate studies in theatre at the University of Illinois in the 1970s.

Hugh F. Hough

(1924–1986) shared the 1974 Pulitzer Prize for Local General Spot News Reporting with fellow University of Illinois alumnus Arthur M. Petacque for uncovering new evidence that led to the reopening of efforts to solve the 1966 murder case of Illinois Sen. Charles Percy’s daughter. Hough received a University of Illinois Bachelor of Science in 1951.

Glenn Howatt

(1957–) shared in the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for a series of reports on a spike in infant deaths in Minneapolis day-cares that led to legislative action strengthening regulations. He earned two master’s degrees from Illinois. One in geography in 1982 and the second in journalism in 1986.

Paul Ingrassia

(1950–) shared the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Beat Reporting for coverage of management turmoil at General Motors Corp. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University in 1972.

Monroe Karmin

(1929–1967) shared the 1967 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for his part in exposing the connection between U.S. crime and gambling in the Bahamas. Karmin received a University of Illinois Bachelor of Science in 1950.

John J. Kim

(1974– ) shared the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting (Chicago Sun-Times) for his photography in an immersive documentation of violence in Chicago neighborhoods, probing the lives of victims, criminals, and detectives as a widespread code of silence impedes solutions. He earned a Bachelor of Science in advertising from the U. of I. in 1997.

Nathaniel Lash

(1992– ) was the data reporter with the Tampa Bay Times team that received a 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting for its series on the Pinellas County Schools. Lash earned his journalism degree in 2014.

Allan Nevins

(1890–1971) received the Pulitzer Prize in Biography twice: in 1933 for Grover Cleveland and in 1937 for Hamilton Fish. Nevins earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1912 and his Master of Arts in 1913, both from the University of Illinois.

Arthur M. Petacque

(1924–2001) shared the 1974 Pulitzer Prize for Local General Spot News Reporting with fellow University of Illinois alumnus Hugh Hough. Their work in uncovering new evidence led to a reopening the 1966 murder case of Valerie Percy. Petacque attended the University of Illinois in the 1940s.

James B. Reston

(1909–1995) received the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 1945 and 1957 as a reporter for the New York Times. He earned a Bachelor of Science in 1932.

Robert Lewis Taylor

(1910–1998) won the 1959 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for his book The Travails of Jaimie McPheeters. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University in 1933.

George Thiem

(1897–1987) shared the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service with fellow University of Illinois alumnus Roy J. Harris for his part in exposing the presence of 37 Illinois newspapermen on an Illinois state payroll. Thiem earned a University of Illinois Bachelor of Science in 1921.

Carl Van Doren

(1885–1950) won the 1939 Pulitzer Prize in Biography for his book Benjamin Franklin. He graduated from the University in 1907 with a Bachelor of Arts.

Mark Van Doren

(1894–1972) received the 1940 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for his work Collected Poems, 1922–1938. He received a University of Illinois Bachelor of Arts in 1914.

Julie Westfall

(1980- ) shared in 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting with staff of the Los Angeles Times for coverage of the San Bernadino terrorist attack. Westfall is a 2002 journalism graduate.

Abe Zaidan

(1931-) shared the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Local Reporting as a member of the staff of the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal. The paper was honored for its coverage of the Kent State University tragedy on May 4, 1970. He received a U. of I. Bachelor of Science in 1953.

Pulitzer Prize Winners – Faculty

Bill Gaines (Emeritus)

(1933– ) shared in two Pulitzer Prizes in Investigative Reporting (1976 and 1988). Gaines joined the University of Illinois faculty in 2001 and was the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Chair in Investigative and Enterprise Journalism until his retirement.

Leon Dash

(1944– ) shared the 1995 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Journalism for his work on a family’s struggle with poverty, illiteracy, crime, and drug abuse in Washington, D.C. Dash became a University of Illinois faculty member in 1998 and is a Swanlund Chair and professor of journalism and Afro-American Studies.

Pulitzer Prize Winners – University Laboratory High School

George F. Will

(1941– ) won the 1977 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his work as a syndicated columnist. He graduated from University High School in 1958.

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