Kovaleski and several other New York Times staff members received the Pulitzer in the category of "Breaking News Reporting." The prizes were announced in April and presented during a ceremony today at Columbia University.
Kovaleski, who majored in philosophy at William & Mary, began his career in journalism at the Miami News in the mid-1980s, after spending some time after College studying and traveling in Europe. He later reported for the New York Daily News and The Washington Post. About three years ago, he joined the staff at the Times.
The New York native said that receiving the award has been surreal.
"It's been an evolving process," he said. "It doesn't sink in right away."
Though he appreciates the nod, he said knows that "life goes on."
"I know I'm only as good as my last story," he said.
Kovaleski said that the happiest part of receiving the prize is that his parents are able to appreciate it. His father, Fred, is also a William & Mary alumnus, Class of 1949.
Kovaleski is now the fourth William & Mary graduate to earn a Pulitzer Prize. The others include: Joe Ellis, Lewis Puller and Edwin Roberts.
Kovaleski is also in good company at home. His wife, Jo Becker -- who also reports for The New York Times -- won the prize last year with another reporter in the category of "National News Reporting" for their Washington Post pieces on then-Vice President Dick Cheney.