Cementing his place in American theater history, Lin-Manuel Miranda on Monday won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his smash hit musical Hamilton.
The decision was announced by Mike Pride, administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, at a ceremony in New York City's Columbia University.
"I think that we had a very good field in drama this year," Pride told reporters, "and there was just one play that really stood out to our board, and that was Hamilton."
Miranda, 36, joins a list of celebrated American playwrights to have won the prestigious award that includes Tennessee Williams, Eugene O'Neill, Thornton Wilder, Tony Kushner, and Sam Shepard.
Fanatically beloved by both critics and audiences, Miranda's hip hop-based musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. treasury secretary, is enjoying a sell-out run on Broadway. The New York Times reported last week the show earns more than $500,000 in profit every week.
The Pulitzer Prize committee described the show as "a landmark American musical about the gifted and self-destructive founding father whose story becomes both contemporary and irresistible."
Pride said he wouldn't have been surprised if some plays were not submitted to the Pultizer committee for consideration this year because people may have predicted Hamilton would win the top prize.
Miranda, who also wrote the Tony Award-winning musical In The Heights, came up with the idea for Hamilton in 2008 after reading Ron Chernow’s biography of the Founding Father.
The musical began showing off-Broadway in January 2015 at New York's Public Theater, before moving to its current home at the Richard Rogers Theatre near Times Square.
In addition to writing the music and lyrics for the musical, Miranda also performs the title role in the show, which features a cast comprised mostly of actors from minority backgrounds.
Described as a "cultural landmark" by President Obama, Miranda and his cast were invited to perform songs from the show at the White House in March.
Hamilton has already been honored with a Grammy and multiple Drama Desk awards. It's also a favorite to take home a number of prizes at this year's Tony Awards.
The runners-up for the Pulitzer were Gloria, by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, and The Humans, by Stephen Karam.
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
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