The son of the former publisher of the ‘Washington Post’ committed suicide on December 20th, just days before the release of ‘The Post’. The film starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, chronicles the publishing of the ‘Pentagon Papers’ which detailed the US Government’s involvement in the Vietnam War. The movie is directed and produced by Academy Award winning director Steven Spielberg. Graham’s son William Graham died of a self inflicted gun shot wound to his head, he was 69. He was an attorney, an investor and a philanthropist, he was found in his Los Angeles home.
William’s brother Donald Graham became the publisher of the Washington Post in 1979 when his mother stepped down from the paper. Donald Graham confirmed his brother’s death as a suicide, and said the family is asking for privacy during this difficult time. Philip Graham, William and Donald’s father committed suicide in the exact same manner as William on August 3, 1963. He was the previous publisher of the ‘Washington Post’, after his death his wife Kathrine Graham assumed the role of publisher until she retired in 1979.
It was Kathrine’s Graham’s decision to publish the ‘Pentagon Papers’ in the Post in 1971. The entire process of ‘Washington Post’ reporters uncovering the information released in the ‘Pentagon Papers’ and Graham’s involvement in the publishing of them, is the subject of the film ‘The Post’. Kathrine Graham died in 2001 at the age of 84 after falling on a sidewalk in Idaho, she died from head trauma suffered in the fall. Her son Donald took over the paper after her death. Jeff Bezos the CEO of Amazon bought the ‘Washington Post’ in 2014. Donald Graham still works at the Post in the capacity of ‘CEO.’ According to reports, William Graham did leave a suicide note.