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#53049 - 07/18/01 04:41 PM remembering Katharine Graham
cat
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Registered: 06/02/00
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I was sad today to read of the death of Katharine Graham, one of the greats of American newspaper world--and a woman who excelled in a male-dominated industry. I recently read her Personal History and found it an excellent autobiography.

I just wanted to take a minute to remember her. She was a strong woman who was not convinced, especially at first, of her own strength; after enormous personal tragedy, she stepped up to run a business though she was not confident in her ability to do so, and did it brilliantly. She was one of the most powerful and respected women in America, and under her guidance The Washington Post helped shape the country's history. R.I.P.

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#53050 - 07/18/01 11:53 PM Re: remembering Katharine Graham
harper
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cat, i'm so glad you started this thread. i came here with just that intent. i have not yet read her autobiography, but have been meaning to do so. i've been reading all the coverage in the washington post, and she was just an incredible woman. although her self-degradation is a bit disturbing at times (at one point she actually stated that she thought a man would do her job better), her accomplishments and contributions are astounding.
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#53051 - 07/19/01 07:29 AM Re: remembering Katharine Graham
TraceyB
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I was a young teenager during Watergate. I remember seeing the movie version of All the President's Men, about Woodward and Bernstein, and being so pleased that the "big boss" at the newspaper was a woman. I learned more about her later, and have always been impressed with her accomplishments. Her biography's on my "to read" list, as well.
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#53052 - 07/19/01 09:19 AM Re: remembering Katharine Graham
cat
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harper, she talks a lot in Personal History about her lack of faith in herself and running herself down. That comment when she said she thought a man would be better as the head of the Post Company was in the late 60s--within five years of her taking control of the company. By her own account and others I've read about her, in the 70s she gained a lot more confidence and stopped thinking that way--she really came to regret that statement, I think.

One of the most striking photos in the autobiography was of her at an Associated Press board meeting, sometime in the late 70s. It's this huge board table, and everyone at it is a man, except her. So all of the bosses of all of the newspapers were men, except for the one paper that in that era was the most courageous in its reporting and did the most to improve itself. Forgive my brief hagiography, but I'm tremendously impressed with her.

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#53053 - 07/19/01 12:45 PM Re: remembering Katharine Graham
JohnConstantine
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I wish I could have met her. That would have been an experience.

I saw that picture of her and the rest of the AP board. She was the first woman ever to sit on that board. Cool. Hope there are a few more Kay Graham's out there, just waiting to emerge.

(oh, and just how pissed was I today when I saw The Washington Times editorial on her death and saw they'd used it as a chance to take a swipe at her newspaper? Rot in hell, you bastards.)

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#53054 - 07/19/01 01:51 PM Re: remembering Katharine Graham
slgorman
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Registered: 05/11/01
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I absolutely love the way she admitted her insecurities in her book. When I read it, I was at a point in my life where I really didn't think I could accomplish that much. Reading about how she basically jumped right in and made a go of it, and then how well it all turned out and how much she got out of the experience was truely inspiring. And a needed boost for me at the time.

Did anyone else catch "The Talk of the Nation" on NPR the other day devoted to her. It was great to hear all these men on the panel speaking so highly of her.

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#53055 - 07/23/01 04:23 PM Re: remembering Katharine Graham
JohnConstantine
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I saw Ben and Sally on CNN last night talking about her. Way cool.

I damn near blew off work to go to the funeral today. (well, stand outside and line the route, anyway)

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#53056 - 07/24/01 07:38 AM Re: remembering Katharine Graham
TraceyB
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Good heavens, did you see the people at her funeral? Henry Kissinger, Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Dick Cheney, Yo-Yo Ma (who played a Bach cello piece), Rudy Guiliani...the list goes on and on.

Henry Kissinger gave one of the eulogies. He told a story about, when he was embroiled in the worst of dealing with the Vietnam War, Mrs. Graham called him and said, "Henry, you need some rest. Let's go see a movie." I love that story.

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#53057 - 07/25/01 10:18 AM Re: remembering Katharine Graham
Reni
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It felt sort of creepy to be watching her funeral on C-SPAN, but I couldn't tear myself away the other night.

I read Personal History a few years ago and remember being really engrossed in it at the time - but one reads a lot of books, and it kind of faded into the background. I hadn't thought about it much until this happened. So I'm surprised about how emotional I've been about Graham's death - I've teared up several times reading obituaries of her, and certainly did during the funeral. I think it's a testament to how good her memoir was - I really felt like I knew her, somehow.

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