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Philip Graham, CEO of Washington Post, Commits Suicide

Aug. 3, 1963 - Philip L. Graham (pictured right in 1961), president and CEO of The Washington Post and chairman of the board of Newsweek magazine, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his farm near Marshall, Va., today. Both the investigating sheriff and a spokesman for The Post announced that Mr. Graham had killed himself with a 28-gauge shotgun. His body was found in a bathroom about 1 p.m. Mr. Graham’s wife, Katharine E. Graham, daughter of the late Eugene Meyer, long-time owner of The Post, was sleeping in another part of the house when the shot was heard. Mr. Graham, 48, had been in ill health for some time. Alfred Friendly, managing editor of The Post, said the newspaper executive had been a patient at Chestnut Lodge, a psychiatric hospital in Rockville, Md., until a few days ago. Mr. Graham had been there six weeks. Mr. Graham, a lawyer by profession, was prominent in many activities in Washington. He was a personal friend of President Kennedy and Vice President Johnson. President Kennedy said today that Mr. Graham’s death “is a personal loss to me and al his friends.” Sheriff S.S. Hall Jr. of Fauquier County said that Dr. James Dellinger, county coroner, had ruled the death a suicide.

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