Chronology of Key Events

Graham Katharine Graham shortly after becoming publisher of The Washington Post.
(Courtesy of the Graham Family)

Born June 16 in New York City, to Agnes Ernst Meyer and Eugene Meyer.

Eugene Meyer purchases The Washington Post at a bankruptcy sale for $825,000.

Works as a copy girl for The Post while still in high school at the Madeira School.

1936 to 1938
Attends Vassar College for two years, then transfers to the University of Chicago; graduates in 1938.

Works as a reporter for the San Francisco News for nearly a year. Returns to Washington and joins the staff of The Post, working in the editorial and circulation departments.

Marries U.S. Supreme Court law clerk Philip L. Graham in Mount Kisco, N.Y.

Gives birth to daughter, Elizabeth Morris Graham, "Lally."

A son, Donald Edward Graham, is born.

Philip Graham succeeds Eugene Meyer as publisher of The Post.

A second son, William Graham, is born.

A third son and last child, Stephen Graham, is born.

Philip Graham commits suicide; Katharine Graham takes over as president of The Post.

Decides The Post will print a copy of the Pentagon Papers, the “top secret” documents detailing the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

Post newsroom Graham talks to reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward during the height of the Watergate coverage. (Mark Godfrey)

The Post begins its Watergate coverage with a story about a break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office building.

Mrs. Graham becomes chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the company; given the Zenger Award for Freedom of the Press and the People’s Right to Know for her leadership in publication of the Pentagon Papers and for authorizing the Watergate coverage. The Washington Post is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service for its Watergate investigation.

Union pressmen strike for several months. The paper missed only one day’s publication, and in the end broke the strike.

Donald Graham is named publisher of The Post, while his mother retains her corporate positions of chairman of the board and chief executive officer of The Washington Post Co.

1991, 1993
Donald Graham succeeds his mother as chief executive and then as chairman of the board. Katharine Graham became chairman of the board’s executive committee.

Press Club’s President’s Award for lifetime achievement in journalism; publishes her autobiography, “Personal History.”

Wins the Pulitzer Prize for “Personal History.”

Katharine Graham dies July 17, three days after suffering head injuries during a fall in Sun Valley, Idaho, where she was attending an annual conference of media executives.

Full Coverage

© 2001 The Washington Post Company