Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Ernie Pyle (1900-1945), who was tragically killed during World War II, once lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
According to https://abqlibrary.org/whowaserniepyle. Pyle had planned to reside in Albuquerque with his wife for the duration of their marriage but the idea didn’t last due to his war service. The website states: “After years of enjoying the freedom of the open road, in June of 1940, the Pyles decided to build a home in New Mexico, a state they had visited and liked, as “a sort of home plate”.3 Jerry arrived to start moving into the house in November, the same month Ernie left for England to begin reporting on World War II. Although already famous, it would be his personal, soldier-oriented dispatches from military theaters overseas, read avidly by millions, that brought him the highest acclaim.”
As a chronicler and storyteller among soldiers, he was known for writing with clarity and mature insight.
“They seemed terribly pathetic to me. They weren’t warriors. They were American boys who by mere chance of fate had wound up with guns in their hands, sneaking up a death-laden street in a strange and shattered city in a faraway country in a driving rain. They were afraid, but it was beyond their power to quit. … And even though they weren’t warriors born to the kill, they won their battles. That’s the point.” — Ernie Pyle
Ernie Pyle Library
The journalist’s home is now the Ernie Pyle Branch Library. This small community library continues to exhibit items of Pyle before it became a library in 1948. It has quaint and peaceful grounds with a quote from the writer (displayed on a large sculpture), an outdoor turtle-shaped bench, and an engaging children’s room.
The Scripps Howard Foundation named the Ernie Pyle Award for Human Interest Storytelling after this popular journalist. According to shawards.org: “This award honors storytelling that clearly exemplifies the warmth and craftsmanship of legendary World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle, who wrote movingly about everyday people with everyday dreams.”
This is the second stop on our New Mexico Author Adventures Trail.