Katharine Graham (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: The only woman to serve as publisher of a major American newspaper during the twentieth century, Graham built The Washington Post into a national institution and helped bring down an American president.
Katharine Meyer was born on June 16, 1917, into financial power, social privilege, and public life. The fourth child of Eugene Meyer and Agnes Ernst Meyer, Katharine had almost limitless options when she graduated from the University of Chicago in 1938 after spending her first two years of college at Vassar. By numerous accounts, her father was one of the more remarkable Americans of his time—a man who consciously chose to marry a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) so his children would not have to fight the anti-Semitism that stung him at an early age; a man who had amassed a fortune of more than $50 million in careers in merchandising and in investment by 1917, when he liquidated his holdings to embark on government service; and a man who had successfully pursued more than a half-dozen different careers by 1933, when at fifty-seven years old, and almost as a hobby, he purchased at a bankruptcy sale a discredited newspaper, The Washington Post.
As her father pursued the task of bringing the Post to a level of journalistic respectability, Katharine—alone among the Meyer children—chose journalism as a career, working initially as a reporter on the San...
(The entire section is 1918 words.)
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