Extraordinary newspaperwoman Katharine Meyer Graham (1917-2001) was born on this day in New York, New York, the daughter of a wealthy businessman whose Jewish roots could be traced back to France during Napoleon's reign.
"Once, power was considered a masculine attribute. In fact, power has no sex," she said.
In 1939, she joined her father's paper The Washington Post as an editor. Nine years later, she bought the paper from her father and built it into a national institution. Under her influence, the newspaper grew in influence and rose to a profitable Fortune 500 company.
"A mistake is simply another way of doing things," she believed.
Called "the most powerful woman in publishing" and a credit to the field of journalism, the courageous Graham held fast throughout the controversial investigation into the Watergate break-in which led to the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon in August 1974.
"As a story, Watergate was a journalist's dream--although it didn't seem that way in those first months when we were so alone," she wrote in her Pulitzer Prize winning autobiography Personal History.
"The role of The Post was simply to report the news. We set out to pursue a story that unfolded before our eyes in ways that made us as incredulous as the rest of the public."
The Post won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for meritorious service for the reporting of the cover-up, which catapulted the paper to what Graham called "true national and international prominence." When Graham stepped down as head of the Post in 1993, the empire she built was $1.85 billion strong.
Enjoy what you do and do the best you can.