New York Post

W. Post scion dead

Katharine Graham’s son in suicide

- By BRUCE GOLDING bgolding@nypost.com

A son of legendary Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham shot himself to death just days ahead of the national release of a movie about her role in the “Pentagon Papers” exposé — and in a manner eerily reminiscen­t of his dad’s suicide more than 50 years ago.

William Graham, 69, died Dec. 20 at his home in Los Angeles, according to a Washington Post obituary, which quoted his brother Donald as saying the cause was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Graham’s suicide came two days before the Washington, DC, premiere of “The Post,” which recounts the paper’s 1971 efforts to publish the infa- mous Department of Defense study that revealed massive government lies about American military involvemen­t in Vietnam.

The Steven Spielberg-directed movie features Meryl Streep, as Katharine Graham, and Tom Hanks, as her celebrated executive editor, Ben Bradlee.

William’s father, Philip Graham, committed suicide at age 48 by shooting himself with a 28-gauge shotgun in 1963, days after being released from a psychiatri­c hospital following six weeks of treatment.

Katharine Graham — the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company — also ran the Washington Post when it won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing the Watergate scandal, which forced President Richard Nixon from office in 1974.

She died at 84 in 2001, several days after being knocked unconsciou­s when she stumbled on a condo walkway in Sun Valley, Idaho.

In 2013, her heirs sold The Washington Post and several smaller papers to Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos for $250 million.

William Graham worked as a lawyer and law professor before founding an investment firm that he dissolved in 2001.

He later became a philanthro­pist, but made most of his donations anonymousl­y, The Washington Post reported.

He is survived by his wife, Sally Lasker Graham; two children from the second of his four marriages, Alice Graham and Edward Graham; his sister, Washington Post senior associate editor Lally Weymouth: and brothers Donald and Stephen Graham.

 ??  ?? ILL-FATED: The death of William Graham (second from right) is the second suicide in the family, here in 1956.
ILL-FATED: The death of William Graham (second from right) is the second suicide in the family, here in 1956.

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