Katharine Meyer was a publisher. She led her family’s newspaper, The Washington Post, for more than two decades, overseeing its most famous period, the Watergate coverage that eventually led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Her memoir, Personal History, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1998.
Graham’s father, Eugene Meyer, was a financier and, later, a public official. He bought The Washington Post in 1933 at a bankruptcy auction. Her mother, Agnes Elizabeth Ernst, was a bohemian intellectual, art lover and political activist in the Republican Party, who shared friendships with people as diverse as Auguste Rodin, Marie Curie, Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt, and worked as a newspaper reporter at a time when journalism was an uncommon profession among women.
Graham lived a privileged childhood. Her parents owned several homes across the country, but primarily lived between a veritable ‘castle’ in Mount Kisco, New York and a smaller home in Washington, D.C. Graham often did not see much of her parents during her childhood, as both traveled and socialized extensively, and was raised in part by nannies, governesses and tutors. As a young adult, Graham felt she had been sheltered by such privilege.
Her elder sister Florence Meyer was a successful photographer and wife of actor Oscar Homolka.She photographed numerous artists, playwrights, actors, writers, composers, musicians, statesmen, film stars, and other celebrities of her day.Her work included portraits of James Agee, Thomas Mann, Constantin
Brâncusi, Charlie Chaplin, Judy Garland, Vladimir Horowitz, Lion Feuchtwanger and of fellow photographers Edward Steichen, Walker Evans, and Brassaï.