First Words

From the Misc. to the Post: Media Maven Remembered

By Veronika Ruff '01

Before becoming one of media’s most powerful mavericks, Katharine Meyer Graham ’38 was a reporter for the Miscellany News. Graham, the former publisher of the Washington Post, passed away July 17, 2001, at the age of 84.

In her 1997 autobiography, Graham wrote that she had chosen Vassar "by a process of non-thought. It was simply the ‘in’ place at the time." Kay Meyer spent two years at Vassar, searching for her political convictions, and becoming a delegate to the executive committee of the American Student Union. Shortly before transferring to the University of Chicago, she was a member of Vassar’s 1936 Daisy Chain.

When Graham’s husband died in 1963, she took over his position as publisher of the Post. She led the paper to a Pulitzer and political fame when two of her reporters broke the story of the Watergate scandal. In 1997, Graham returned to the Hudson Valley to receive a Four Freedoms Medal, an honor awarded at the Franklin D. Roosevelt home in Hyde Park, NY, to those who uphold Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, which includes the freedom of speech.