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Katharine Graham’s son takes his own life aged 69

The son of former Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham has taken his own life, shooting himself 54 years after his father did the same.

William W. Graham, a lawyer, investor and philanthropist, died on December 20 at his home in Los Angeles.

His brother Donald, who became the publisher and chief executive of The Washington Post when their mother stepped down in 1979, said he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Graham’s grandfather Eugene Meyer purchased The Washington Post in 1933, and then handed it over to his father, Philip.

When Philip killed himself in 1963, his wife Katharine took over, becoming one of the most influential women in America and the first female head of a Fortune 500 company.

William Graham

The story of her decision to publish the Pentagon Papers, which detailed the US government’s cover-up of the failings of the Vietnam War, has been made into a film by Steven Spielberg, The Post. Meryl Streep plays Katharine Graham.

She died in 2001, and was survived by four children: a daughter, Lally Weymouth; and three sons, Donald, Stephen and William.

Donald took over the newspaper, but then handed over to his niece Katharine Weymouth. She, in turn, left in 2014 – when Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought the company.

William Graham was a 1966 graduate of the private St. Albans School in Washington and a 1970 graduate of Stanford University, where he majored in history and was active in the antiwar movement protesting US involvement in Vietnam.

He graduated from the UCLA law school in 1973, and then worked at the law firm Williams & Connolly for three years.

Katharine and Philip Graham in 1956, with their children Lally, Stephen, William and Donald

Like his mother, he spent his summers on Martha’s Vineyard, in Massachusetts, where he served on the board of the local hospital.

His marriages to the former Jorie Pepper (the poet known as Jorie Graham), Caroline Cushing and Jean Parker ended in divorce.

He is survived by his wife of seven years, Sally Lasker Graham, and two children from his second marriage, Alice and Edward Graham.

Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/12/26/katharine-grahams-son-takes-life-aged-69/

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