Katharine Graham's Son Commits Suicide, as His Dad Did

William Graham was 69
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2017 8:08 AM CST
Katharine Graham's Son Commits Suicide, as His Dad Did
In this Nov. 28,1966, file photo, writer Truman Capote, left, and guest of honor Katharine Graham arrive at Capote's Black and White Ball at the Plaza Hotel in New York.   (AP Photo/David Pickoff, File)

When Washington Post publisher Philip Graham killed himself in 1963, wife Katharine took the reins and began a tenure at the paper that would become legendary. Some 54 years after that death via gunshot, a tragic repeat for the Graham family: The Telegraph reports one of the couple's four children, William Graham, took his life in the same manner on Dec. 20 in Los Angeles. He was 69. The Post first reported the news Saturday, and recounted Graham's path from lawyer at a "prominent" DC firm in the '70s before a move to LA, where he taught trial law at alma mater UCLA. He ran the investment firm Graham Partners for two decades, and post-2001 had mainly focused on philanthropy, in particular supporting causes tied to education, veterans, and medical research.

Donald Graham tells CNN his brother had battled a "painful and debilitating" heart condition for years. The Los Angeles Times reports father Philip Graham struggled with manic depression; his death preceded Katharine Graham's by nearly five decades. She died in 2001, and a film about her decision to publish the Vietnam-focused Pentagon Papers was released two days after her son's death. Graham is played by Meryl Streep in the film. Read reviews of the film here. William Graham is survived by his wife, two children from a previous marriage, and his three siblings. (More Katharine Graham stories.)

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