Edna Buchanan, the Pulitzer prize-winning Miami Herald crime reporter who covered more than 5,000 violent deaths during her 18-year career at the paper, has won the 2017 Florida Humanities Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing.
The prize is presented by the Florida Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities established in 1973 that develops public programs and resources that explore Florida’s history, literary and artistic traditions, cultural values, issues, and ethics.
Buchanan, 77, lives in Miami Beach and has written several novels and non-fiction books, including the best-selling “The Corpse Had a Familiar Face,” a memoir about her journalism career. She is famous for grabbing the reader’s attention with the opening lines of her crime stories. When reporting on Gary Robinson, an ex-con who was shot and killed by a security guard at a Church’s Chicken restaurant where he was trying to buy some food, she wrote “Gary Robinson died hungry.”
“In a press release announcing the award, Steven M. Seibert, executive director of the Florida Humanities Council, stated “We are thrilled to honor Edna Buchanan, who has had such an important influence on Florida journalism and the crime-writing genre. We see this as a fitting tribute to a long and rich career. She is a Florida treasure.”
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Previous winners of the award include novelist/columnist Carl Hiaasen, historian/essayist Gary Mormino and FSU creative writing professor/author Janet Burroway. Buchanan will receive the award on April 6 during the Florida Book Awards banquet in Tallahassee.