William W. Graham, a scion of the iconic Washington Post publishers Phil and Katharine Graham, died at the age of 69 as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. News of the suicide was first reported by the Post in an official obituary on Saturday.
The death follows a tragic path set by his father Phil Graham, who also committed suicide in 1963. His mother, Katherine Graham went on to steer the paper as publisher for two decades and played an integral role during their most famous exposé, Watergate.
The family and that charged period has come in for renewed interest with the release of Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” — widely viewed as an early Oscar contender. Katherine is played by Meryl Streep. The suicide comes just days after the film premiere in Washington D.C.
“The Post” spent eight decades in the hands of the Graham family before being sold to billionaire Jeff Bezos in 2013. It’s last Graham family chairman, Donald E. Graham, was William’s brother and confirmed the news of his death to the paper.
Despite his famous upbringing, William Graham blazed a different path than his parents, choosing a career of law, teaching and philanthropy.
According to the Post obituary, Graham spent much of his career at the law firm of Williams & Connolly before relocating to Los Angeles to teach trial law at the University of California in Los Angeles.