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Margaret Kernochan Leech (November 7, 1893 – February 24, 1974) also known as Margaret Pulitzer, was an American author and historian, who won two Pulitzer Prizes in history, for her books Reveille in Washington (1942) and In the Days of McKinley (1960).
Life and career
She started her writing career for the Condé Nast publishing company before World War I. Leech also worked in advertising and publicity. After the war, she became friendly with members of the Algonquin Round Table, including critic-raconteur Alexander Woollcott. She was an associate of some of the wittiest and most brilliant men and women of literature that spent time at the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan.
In 1928 she married Ralph Pulitzer, publisher of the New York World. (His father, Joseph Pulitzer, had established the Pulitzer Prize via a bequest to Columbia University.) They had one daughter, Susan.
Reveille in Washington, 1860-1865, is an account of Washington, D.C. during the American Civil War and deals with, inter alia, Abraham Lincoln and his wife, along with Rose Greenhow, the Confederate spy whose work was helpful in the Southern forces winning the First Battle of Bull Run.
In the Days of McKinley is a biography of President William McKinley, carefully told in minute detail, and he is shown as a more attractive person and better president than some have depicted him. In addition to the Pulitzer prize for history, the book was awarded the Bancroft Prize in 1960.
Leech died of a stroke in New York, New York, at age 80.
- "Obituaries: Margaret Leech, Won Pulitzers in 1942, 1959". St. Petersburg Times. February 26, 1974.