One of his early honors was the California Governor's Award for Excellence in Design; a similar award came from New York State. There have been honorary degrees—one in 1977 from the National University of Ireland where he had completed his undergraduate studies and another from Wesleyan University. The American Institute of Architects—New York Chapter recognized him with the 1968 Medal of Honor, and in 1974 Roche and Dinkeloo received the national AIA Architectural Firm of the Year Award. The French Académie d'Architecture presented him with their Grand Gold Medal in 1977, and elected him a member in 1979.
Some critics of the Pulitzer Prize have accused the organization of favoring those who support liberal causes or oppose conservative causes. Syndicated columnist L. Brent Bozell said that the Pulitzer Prize has a "liberal legacy", particularly in its prize for commentary.  He pointed to a 31-year period in which only five conservatives won prizes for commentary. The claim is also supported by a statement from the 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary, Kathleen Parker : "It's only because I'm a conservative basher that I'm now recognized." 
The award goes to the playwright, although production of the play is also taken into account. In the case of a musical being awarded the prize, the composer, lyricist and book writer are generally the recipients. An exception to this was the first Pulitzer ever awarded to a musical: when Of Thee I Sing won in 1932, book authors George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, as well as lyricist Ira Gershwin, were cited as the winners, while composer George Gershwin's contribution was overlooked by the committee. The reason given was that the Pulitzer Prize for Drama is a dramatic award, and not a musical one. However, by 1950 the Pulitzer committee included composer Richard Rodgers as a recipient when South Pacific won the award, in recognition of music as an integral and important part of the theatrical experience.