Her award-winning autobiography entitled Personal History was published when she
was 79. It discusses her life and career. Mrs. Graham's father, Eugene Meyer, bought the
newspaper in the 1930s. But in 1948, when Mr. Meyer retired, he did not turn the post over to his
daughter. Women didn't run such enterprises at the time. Instead, the reins were handed over to
Katherine Graham's husband, Philip.
"My father said to me, and I certainly went along with it, that
'No man should work for his wife'."
A Harvard Law School Graduate, Phil Graham is described as "handsome... in a raw-boned,
raffish way, and gifted." He is credited with transforming the venture from "a respected but
financially shaky paper" into one that "played a vital role in politics and civic affairs in
Washington." But, recounts Katherine Graham, her husband was mentally ill. He was
manic-depressive. In the summer of 1963, Phil Graham committed suicide.
His wife recalls her reaction:
"You just put one foot in front of the other. That's all I can say.
You don't say anything to yourself because it is so overwhelming."
Katherine Graham notes that she was determined to keep the newspaper in her family.
"Absolutely! It never occurred to me not to, because I had so much emotional involvement with it."
Katherine Graham writes -- and these are her words --
"I had very little idea of what I was supposed to be doing, so I set out to learn."
"I would go to a meeting. It would be addressed by a man saying very self-consciously,
'Lady and Gentlemen', or 'Gentlemen and Mrs. Graham'.
I mean, you'd always stick out as something unusual."
But, she decided to perservere, saying that it was the right time and the right place.
"It was the woman's movement. You know, Gloria Steinem was a great friend and she said
'Look here, you've got to be aware of these things. ' I said: 'Oh, no, they are not for me.'
But she said: 'They are and this is why they'll make your life better and they'll make other people's
lives better'. She was right."
Under Katherine Graham's leadership, The Washington Post, and affiliated companies, continued
to prosper and grow. One of the highlights of her tenure was the newspaper's coverage, in the
early 1970s, of what's come to be known as Watergate.
An attempted burglary of the Democratic National Committee's offices in Washington's
Watergate complex was investigated by Post reporters who followed a trail that eventually led
directly to the Nixon White House.
"It was a feeling of vindication when the facts began to come out and the feeling that we were
proved to have been right, which was very reassuring. But, were we satisfied to have a President
of the United States have to resign because of the Watergate stories? No. It proved that our
democracy was very strong, that it could survive this and that it could accept that this man had to
go, and that the Vice-President, Gerald Ford, could take office and that there wasn't any trauma
that the country couldn't survive and live with. We mastered those difficulties.
I think it was a great tribute to our kind of democracy."
Katherine Graham describes herself as being shy and insecure when she took over The
Washington Post. But her on-the-job training paid off. In time, she became a respected member
of the newspaper publishing community. When it was announced that her memoir, Personal
History had won a Pulitzer Prize in the biography category, Mrs. Graham said that she "always
associated the Pulitzer with reporters and editors and was always proud when we won one. But,"
she continued, "it's a whole other scene when you win one yourself. Especially for your first and
This Lady broke a lot of ground
Her story is both humbling and
We hope that when you have a
chance to read it that it will
reinforce what you already know -
We can make the best of all
situations, step up to the plate and
set an example for others.
However, sorrow is unavoidable
no matter how much or how well
you do in life.
Everyone still gets a taste.
Katherine Graham fell in to, and found her way
through Newspaper publishing in what had long been
a man's world. But she was a very special woman that
made a difference, and paved the way for others.
Katherine Graham was the owner and former publisher
of The Washington Post.
It is our humble opinion that
every person who owns a vagina would
benefit from reading K.G.'s memoirs
|Copyright © 2009 HouseWife Mafia All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized use prohibited. HouseWifeMafia.com copyright materials may not be reproduced in whole or in part by
persons, organizations or corporations without the prior written permission of our Legal Department at HouseWifeMafia.com.
Housewifemafia.com and all its derivatives have been recognized and documented by the Library of Congress,
Copyright Office, Washington D.C. Copyright HouseWife Mafia Media & Publishing.
What is HouseWifeMafia?
|She Did, You Can
Please allow us to introduce you to a woman of great courage
|Think wrongly, if you please,
but in all cases think for yourself.
Doris Lessing. b1919 British writer
Living never wore one out so much
as the effort not to live.
|It was so cold I almost got married.
|Women are never what they seem to be.
There is the woman you see
and there is the woman who is hidden.
Buy the gift for the woman who is hidden.
~ Erma Bombeck
|Click any little bird below to
discover something wonderful
|Be Beautiful Like You Are