Washington Post Heir William Graham Kills Himself Decades After Father's Suicide

William Graham, a member of the family that owned and published The Washington Post for many years, died by suicide in his home in Los Angeles on Dec. 20. He was 69 years old.

The cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Graham's brother, Donald Graham, told The Washington Post.

Graham was the son of Philip and Katharine Graham, who published and led the newspaper for more than 20 years. Phil also killed himself in 1963 by shooting himself with a shotgun, TMZ reports.

In the years that followed, Katharine played a crucial role in the Post helping expose President Nixon and the Watergate scandal, and she also led the charge in continuing to publish the Pentagon Papers, despite being challenged by the U.S. government in court.

Graham's death came days before Steven Spielburg's film The Post made its limited release, and six days after its premiere in Washington D.C.

Graham was a lawyer at the prominent Washington firm of Williams & Connolly in the 1970s before settling in Los Angeles, where he taught trial law at his alma mater, the University of California at Los Angeles. He later founded an investment firm, Graham Partners, which he owned and operated for about 20 years until dissolving the business in 2001. Since then, he concentrated on philanthropic activities, including those in education, medical research and support for veterans.


Graham's grandfather Eugene Meyer purchased The Post in 1933. In addition to his parents, Philip and Katharine, his brother Donald also held the position of publisher and chief executive at the paper. A niece, Katharine Weymouth, also served as publisher of The Post before the newspaper was sold in 2013.

William Graham is survived by his wife of seven years, Sally Lasker Graham; two children from his second marriage, Alice Graham and Edward Graham; a sister, Lally Weymouth; and two brothers, Donald E. Graham and Stephen M. Graham.