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Ernie Pyle

Ernest Taylor Pyle, better known as Ernie Pyle (August 3, 1900 - April 18, 1945) was an American journalist, who wrote as a roving correspondent for the Scripps Howard newspaper chain from 1935 on. His articles were about the out-of-the-way places he visited and the people who lived there, told in a folksy style much like a personal letter from a friend, that won him a loyal following in as many as 200 newspapers.

He was born on a tenant farm near Dana, Indiana and wrote for local newspapers before moving to Washington, D.C. He became the nation's first aviation columnist and later was managing editor of the Washington Daily News before taking on the national column.

With the entry of the U.S. into World War II, Pyle became a war correspondent, applying his intimate style to World War II. Instead of the movements of armies or the activites of generals, Pyle wrote from the perspective of the common soldier, an approach that won him not only further popularity but the Pulitzer Prize in 1944.

In that year, he had written a column urging that soldiers in combat get "fight pay" as airmen were paid "flight pay". Congress passed a law giving soldiers 50 percent extra pay for combat service. The legislation was called "the Ernie Pyle bill."

He reported from the United States, Europe, Africa, and the Pacific. Pyle died on Ie Shima, an island off Okinawa, as the result of machine gun fire from an enemy sniper.


His columns have been collected into the following books: