"four awards in journalism, four in letters and drama, one in education, and four traveling scholarships.”The prizes were awarded after his death. Nowadays they are awarded every April.
The prize for biography went to Laura Elizabeth Richards and Maude Howe Elliott, who wrote about their mother, the 19th-century writer and suffragist Julia Ward Howe, at a time when women were picketing the White House on behalf of the Anthony Amendment. Howe was an abolitionist and suffragist best known for writing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."
The other three awardees in 1917 were:
- Jean Jules Jusserand, the French ambassador to the United States from 1902 to 1925, for history: With Americans of Past and Present Days.
- Herbert B. Swope of the New York World won the prize for journalism. In his acceptance remarks, he said:
"I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula of failure — which is try to please everybody.”
- The New York Tribune for its editorials on the first anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania.