William Graham
Courtesy the Graham Family
Stephanie Petit
December 27, 2017 10:01 AM

William Graham, son of legendary The Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham, died Dec. 20 at his Los Angeles home in an apparent suicide. He was 69.

The lawyer and philanthropist was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, his brother Donald Graham, who became publisher and chief executive of the newspaper when their mother stepped down in 1979, told The Washington Post.

According to his obituary, William graduated from Stanford University in 1970 before going on to study law at the University of California at Los Angeles. He worked as an attorney at the Washington firm Williams & Connolly before moving to Los Angeles and teaching trial law at UCLA. He founded an investment firm, Graham Partners, and contributed to several philanthropic organizations.

William also served as a board member of the hospital in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., where he spent summers.

Katharine Graham
RUTH FREMSON/AP/REX/Shutterstock

He is survived by his wife Sally Lasker Graham; two children from the second of his four marriages; his sister, The Washington Post senior associate editor Lally Weymouth and brothers Donald and Stephen Graham.

His grandfather, Eugene Meyer, bought the paper in 1933. It stayed within the family for 80 years before they sold it to Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos for $250 million in 2013.

William’s father Phillip, who also served as publisher at The Washington Post, also committed suicide by shooting himself in 1963.

The death came just days before the release of the movie The Post, Steven Spielberg’s new film chronicling the newspaper’s fight with the government over the release of the Pentagon Papers. Meryl Streep plays his mother Katharine in the movie, which was recently nominated for six Golden Globe awards.

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