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Katharine Graham, June 16, 1917 - July 17, 2001 Newspaper publisher Katherine Graham was born into a wealthy and powerful family. In 1933, her father bought the Washington Post. After Graham finished college, she went to work at the Post. It was there that she met her future husband, lawyer Phil Graham. In 1945, Graham's father chose Phil to take over the struggling Post and Katherine stayed at home as a wife and mother of four. Phil suffered from manic depression and after a deep depression he committed suicide. At the age of forty-six, she was thrust into the job of newspaper publisher. In 1971, Graham ordered the Post to print a copy of the Pentagon Papers, top-secret documents that revealed the truth about the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. Even though she was friendly with Henry Kissinger and well aware of the battle that would be launched from the Nixon administration, Graham broke the most important political story of modern day, Watergate. The Post continued coverage of the Watergate cover up and the Nixon administration grew increasingly angry. The Post was nearly crippled by their failure to renew crucial television licenses and stock plummeted. Graham managed to keep control over the chaos and the paper became internationally renowned and she has been hailed as the most powerful woman in America. (Bowker Author Biography)
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Katharine Meyer's father bought the Washington Post in 1933. She lived a privileged though lonely life as a child and in 1940 married lawyer Philip Graham. He became publisher of the Washington Post until his mental illness and death in 1963. At that point, Katherine Graham stepped in to lead the paper and headed it for more than 20 years. She oversaw its most famous period, the Watergate scandal that brought down the Nixon Administration, and the publication of the Pentagon Papers.