Mary Schmich won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for commentary for her work as a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.
Mary Schmich got her bachelor's degree in 1975 from Pomona College (where she co-edited the student newspaper) and then spent three years working in the school's admissions office. She went to the Stanford Graduate School of Journalism, then spent a year in France and worked as a journalist at the Penisula Times Tribune (in Palo Alto, California) and at the Orlando Sentinel before landing at the Chicago Tribune in 1985.
Mary Schmich became a columnist for the Tribune in 1992. Five years later she grew unexpectedly famous when one of her 1997 columns -- a collection of wry advice to graduating college seniors, beginning with the words "Wear sunscreen" -- was e-mailed around the world, misidentified as an M.I.T. commencement speech by author Kurt Vonnegut. The false attribution was never explained, but the column became an Internet favorite; it was later set to music and released on an album by Australian director Baz Luhrmann.
In 2012, Mary Schmich won her Pulitzer Prize. The Pulitzer committee lauded "her wide range of down-to-earth columns that reflect the character and capture the culture of her famed city."