KATHARINE GRAHAM Biography - People in the News and Media


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Name: Katharine Graham                                                               
Born: 16 June 1917                                                                   
Died: 17 July 2001                                                                   
Katharine Meyer Graham (June 16, 1917 - July 17, 2001) was an American publisher.   
She led her family's newspaper, The Washington Post, for more than two decades,     
overseeing its most famous period, the Watergate coverage that eventually led to     
the resignation of President Richard Nixon.                                         
Graham's father, Eugene Meyer, was a financier and, later, a public official. He     
bought The Washington Post in 1933 at a bankruptcy auction. Her mother, Agnes       
Ernst, was a bohemian intellectual, art lover and political activist in the         
Republican Party, who shared friendships with people as diverse as Auguste Rodin,   
Marie Curie, Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt, and worked as a newspaper       
reporter at a time when journalism was an uncommon profession among women.           
Graham lived a privileged childhood. Her parents owned several homes across the     
country, but primarily lived between a veritable 'castle' in Mount Kisco, New       
York and a smaller home in Washington, D.C. Graham often did not see much of her     
parents during her childhood, as both traveled and socialized extensively, and       
was raised in part by nannies, governesses and tutors. As a young adult, Graham     
felt she had been sheltered by such privilege.                                       
Her elder sister Florence Meyer (1911-1962) was a successful photographer and       
wife of actor Oscar Homolka.                                                         
Graham was an alumna of The Madeira School (to which her father had donated much     
land) and attended Vassar College before transferring to the University of           
Chicago. In Chicago, she became quite interested in labor issues and shared         
friendships with people from walks of life very different from her own. After       
graduation, she worked for a short period at a San Francisco newspaper where,       
among other things, she helped cover a major strike by wharf workers.               
Graham began working for the Post in 1938. While in Washington D.C., Kay met an     
old schoolmate, Will Lang Jr. The two dated, but broke off the relationship due     
to conflicting interests.