I’m Shirley Griffith.
And I’m Doug Johnson with the VOA Special English program, PEOPLE IN AMERICA. Today we tell about Katharine Graham. She was the owner and publisher of the Washington Post newspaper.
Katharine Meyer Graham was once described as "the most powerful woman in America." She was not a government official or elected representative. She owned and published the Washington Post newspaper. Under her leadership, it became one of the most important newspapers in the country.
Katharine Meyer was born in New York City in Nineteen-Seventeen. She was the daughter of Eugene and Agnes Meyer. Her father was a successful investment banker. He became an important financial official. Her family was very rich.
Katharine grew up in large houses in New York and Washington. Her parents were often away from home, traveling and working. Katharine was often lonely.
Katherine Meyer graduated from the University of Chicago in Illinois in Nineteen-Thirty-Eight. She got a job as a reporter for a newspaper in San Francisco, California.
In Nineteen-Thirty-Three, Eugene Meyer had bought a failing newspaper, The Washington Post. It was the least successful of five newspapers in Washington. Katharine returned to Washington and got a job editing letters to the editor of her father's newspaper. She married Philip Graham. He was a lawyer and former assistant to two Supreme Court justices. Mister Graham soon accepted a job at his wife’s father’s newspaper.
In Nineteen-Forty-Six, Eugene Meyer left the newspaper to become the first president of the World Bank. Philip Graham became publisher of The Washington Post.
Mister Graham improved The Washington Post. He bought Newsweek magazine and several television stations. He also established close ties with important political leaders. However, Mister Graham treated his wife badly. He made her feel unimportant. He had a sexual relationship with a young reporter.
For many years, Mister Graham suffered from mental illness. He killed himself in Nineteen-Sixty-Three.
Katharine Graham had four children to raise and a newspaper to operate. At first, she was concerned only with finding a way to keep control of The Washington Post until her sons were old enough to supervise it. She was an insecure person. She did not think she had the ability to do an important job. She had no training in business or experience in operating a large company. In those days, it was unusual for a woman to be the head of a business. Women were expected to supervise only their homes and children.
Katharine Graham met with officials of The Post. She told them the paper would not be sold. She said it would remain in her family. She was elected president of The Washington Post Company. She had no idea about how to operate a newspaper. So she decided to learn. She began by hiring Benjamin Bradlee. He later became chief editor. Mister Bradlee improved the newspaper. He hired excellent reporters and editors. They began doing important investigative reporting. In Nineteen-Sixty-Nine, Missus Graham became publisher as well as president of The Washington Post Company.
In the Nineteen-Seventies, the Washington Post became famous around the world because of two major successes. In Nineteen-Seventy-One, The New York Times newspaper started publishing secret government documents about American involvement in the Vietnam War. They were known as the Pentagon Papers. The administration of President Richard Nixon appealed to the courts to stop the publication of the documents. It said publication would endanger national security. A temporary restraining order from a federal judge stopped The New York Times from publishing the documents.
Washington Post reporters also got a copy of the Pentagon Papers. They also wanted to publish the documents. Missus Graham had to decide if the paper would publish the stories and risk possible punishment by the government. The newspaper’s lawyers advised her not to publish them. Yet she decided to publish the Pentagon Papers in the Washington Post. The Supreme Court finally decided the issue. They ruled against the judge’s order restraining publication of the Pentagon Papers. That ruling was considered a major success for freedom of the press.
The next year, in Nineteen-Seventy-Two, the Washington Post had another major success reporting on a different story. Five men had been arrested after breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office building. Reporters at The Post began an intense investigation of the break-in. The Post published a series of stories by two young reporters, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.
After much investigation, the reporters linked the Watergate break-in to President Nixon and his top advisers. Their stories proved that the Nixon administration directed a plot. Its goals were to illegally gather intelligence on the Democratic Party and dishonor opponents of the president.
Missus Graham supported her reporters and editors through the long Watergate investigation. The Post published the stories even though government officials threatened Missus Graham and her company. The newspaper was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service in Nineteen-Seventy-Three for its Watergate reporting. The next year, President Nixon resigned from office.
Katharine Graham was recognized around the world as an important leader in newspaper publishing. She was the first woman to head a major American company. She successfully expanded The Washington Post Company to include newspaper, magazine, broadcast and cable companies.
Katharine Graham played an important role in supporting women in the workforce. More women were employed at The Post and at Newsweek magazine. Missus Graham also was active in groups seeking to improve public education in Washington. She traveled around the country to make many public speeches about news media issues. She also traveled around the world to meet with foreign leaders.
Katharine Graham was well known for having dinner parties at her home in Washington. She invited the most important people in the city. An invitation to one of her parties was almost as valuable as an invitation to dinner at the White House. Missus Graham was a close friend of American and world leaders. Her friends included leaders in government, media, business and entertainment. They included presidents, prime ministers and princesses.
In Nineteen-Ninety-One, Donald Graham replaced his mother as publisher and the chief official of The Washington Post Company. At that time, the company was valued at almost two-thousand-million dollars.
When she was eighty years old, Katharine Graham wrote a book about her life. It was called "Personal History." She wrote about the struggles and tragedies of her life as well as the successes. She wrote about how she battled her own insecurities to move from a traditional job as homemaker to a position of power. Critics praised the book for its honesty. The book won a Pulitzer Prize for biography in Nineteen-Ninety-Eight. It was extremely popular.
Katharine Graham died of head injuries three years later after a fall. She was eighty-four. More than three-thousand people attended her funeral. They included many government and business leaders. Friends of Katharine Graham said she would be remembered as a woman who had an important influence on events in the United States and the world. They said she used her intelligence and bravery to improve the American media. And they said everyone who cares about a free press would greatly miss her.
Katharine Graham once wrote: "A world without newspapers would not be the same kind of world." After her death, the employees of The Washington Post wrote: "A world without Katharine Graham will not be the same at all."
We asked her to describe what kind of things she did in her spare time.
They publish reference books.
Artie treated most women with indifference.
4.The administration of President Richard Nixon appealed to the courts to stop the publication of the documents.
appeal to 上诉
He decided to appeal to a higher court.
5.It said publication would endanger national security.
The debate could endanger the proposed Mideast peace talks.
6.The Post published the stories even though government officials threatened Missus Graham and her company.
He said army officers had threatened to destroy the town.
1970年，凯萨琳出生于纽约市 。她是尤金和阿格奈什·迈耶的女儿 。他的父亲是一名成功的投资银行家，一名重要的金融高管 。她的家庭很富有 。凯萨琳生活在纽约和华盛顿的那些大房子里 。她的父母常离家旅行工作 。凯萨琳常感觉孤独 。1938年，凯萨琳毕业于伊利诺斯州的芝加哥大学 。她在加利福尼亚的旧金山谋得了一份报社记者工作 。1933年，尤金·迈耶买下了一家倒闭的报社—《华盛顿邮报》 。那是华盛顿五大报纸中最不成功的一家 。凯萨琳回到华盛顿并为父亲报社中的编辑们编辑文字 。