Heir to Washington Post fortune, William Graham commits suicide just like his publisher father

William’s death came just two days before the Washington DC, premiere of Steven Spielberg’s The Post, which tells the story of the Washington Post’s efforts to publish the infamous “Pentagon Papers” - which exposed Richard Nixon's Watergate Scandal.


                            Heir to Washington Post fortune, William Graham commits suicide just like his publisher father

Son of legendary former Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham committed suicide in a manner that’s eerily reminiscent of his dad’s demise more than 50 years ago, according to a report by TMZ on Monday.

Willaim Graham took his own life. Source: Twitter

The Post published the obituary on Saturday for William Graham, 69, one of the heirs to the Washington Post-Graham fortune. The obituary, according to which Graham died on Dec 20 at his home in Los Angeles quotes his brother Donald as saying the cause was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.



His father, Philip Graham, also committed suicide by shooting himself with a 28-gauge shotgun in 1963, days after being released from a psychiatric hospital following six weeks of treatment. The similarity in the suicides, as reported by TMZ is disturbing, to say the least.

William’s death came just two days before the Washington DC premiere of Steven Spielberg’s The Post, which tells the story of the Washington Post’s efforts to publish the infamous “Pentagon Papers”, which eventually led to the resignation of then-President Richard Nixon.

The film features Meryl Streep, as William’s mother, Katharine Graham and has been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture in 2018.  

Katharine Graham, who was also the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company, played a crucial role in the Post as she led the charge to publish the infamous Pentagon Papers in 1971 despite being challenged by the U.S. government in court.

Katharine Graham ran The Post in 1971 during the publishing of the infamous "Pentagon Papers". (Image Source: Evening Standard/Getty Images) 

Her efforts won her a Pulitzer Prize for exposing the Watergate scandal that eventually 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.

Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham in Golden-Globe nominated The Post. (Image Source: Twitter)

William, a philanthropist who formerly worked as a lawyer and ran an investment firm, is survived by his wife, Sally Lasker Graham, and two children; his sister, journalist and Post senior associate editor Lally Weymouth, and brothers Donald and Stephen Graham.

Donald, William's brother took over the newspaper Katherine, and later handed it over to his niece Katharine Weymouth. She left in 2014 - when Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought the company.

His brother also let in that William had been suffering from a painful heartful condition. 


Few details are known about William. He was a 1966 graduate of the St. Albans School in Washington and was a graduate of Stanford University, where he majored in history. He graduated from the UCLA law school in 1973, and then worked at the law firm Williams & Connolly for three years. Later, he moved to California and taught law at the University of California, Los Angeles, his alma mater.

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