Katharine Graham¿s Way
Katharine Graham was suddenly forced to take charge of The Washington Post after her husband’s suicide. With no leadership training, she overcame timidity, mastered constant crises, and eventually made national history in journalism, business, and politics. In one lifetime, she experienced nearly all the pains and pleasures of self-renewal, American style. Here are the lessons from her experience that you can apply to your life and career.
Katharine Graham’s story would probably make a bad movie, but it definitely made a good life. The movie would drag a poor little rich marionette through glib scenes of high living, low loving, suicide, and redemption--a Cinderella knockoff with a too-happy ending. Katharine Graham’s real life evoked something far bigger, the ever surprising power of human potential.
She was born Katharine Meyer in New York City on June 16, 1917. Her father, Eugene Meyer, came from a prosperous Alsatian Jewish family living in San Francisco. He moved east as a young man and became one of New York’s most golden investment bankers. Known for taking big risks, Meyer actually never invested in a company without exhaustive research confirming he was making a surefire bet. J. Pierpont Morgan said of him, “Watch out for this fellow Meyer because if you don’t he’ll end up having all the money on Wall Street.” By 1915 Meyer’s fortune matched his age times a million.
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