After briefly serving in the Navy Reserve during World War I, Pyle dropped out of college to begin his journalism career. He worked for the Washington Daily News as managing editor, and later traveled the country, writing columns about American life for the Scripps-Howard papers. During World War II, Pyle became America’s best-known war correspondent, covering the war in Europe and focusing on the experiences of the individual infantrymen. He won the Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 1944. With the closing of the war in Europe, Pyle moved on to the Pacific front, writing some pieces about the Navy. Pyle was killed by enemy machine-gun fire on 18 April 1945 on the Japanese island of Ie Jima. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, one of the few civilians to receive that honor.