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Funeral Service Held for "Washington Post"'s Katharine Graham

Aired July 23, 2001 - 11:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: We are here live at the Washington National Cathedral, the sixth-largest cathedral in the world, for the funeral service for a woman, I think arguably the most powerful women of today in journalism and one of the most influential women of the last century, Katharine Graham. She died last Tuesday in Idaho after a fall. She was unconscious and never regained consciousness, and died on Tuesday, as we said, at the age of 84.

It was she who took over "The Washington Post" in the early 1960s when her husband shot himself to death. He was a manic depressive. He had been the publisher of "The Washington Post." She took over at the age of 46, completely unprepared, but become -- helped it to become one of the great newspapers of this nation and in so doing, helped move the press into a truly independent institution.

You can see inside the cathedral, the service just now getting under way. This is an episcopal cathedral. This is a special hour -- hours where we will bring to you these memories and this service remembering Katharine Graham.

Katharine Graham was a millionaire's daughter, a blue blood, who could have easily cultivated the life of socialite. But in the highest compliment bestowed among news people, she is to be remembered as someone who literally had newspaper ink running through her veins.

CNN's Bruce Morton looks at a life rich in passion and purpose.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HOWARD KURTZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: To the outside world she was journalistic icon, a fabulously successful CEO. But for those of us who worked for Katharine Graham, she was much more: a boss, a colleague, perhaps the essence of the newspaper's identity.

(voice-over): Most of us were not pals of this wealthy woman with the regal bearing. She was a remote figure to some and just about everyone called her Mrs. Graham. She hobnobbed with the likes of Nancy Reagan, Barbara Walters and Princess Di, and most of us were not invited to glittering Georgetown parties. "Washington Post" reporters usually had to stand on the sidewalk, hoping to interview the luminaries as they left.

But Mrs. Graham -- Kay -- would make time to visit a reporters' book club or... (END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Our apologies. I had introduced, as you could see, a piece by Bruce Morton and, of course, that was Howard Kurtz of CNN's "RELIABLE SOURCES." He works for "The Washington Post," and was talking in a very personal way about her affect on American journalism.

We're here at the cathedral at the south entrance. Pretty much everyone who is coming to the cathedral is here. We've been watching everything from media moguls to members of the United States Senate, former president Bill Clinton, Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao just a few of those from the administration of George W. Bush.

Bruce, I introduced your piece, but I have something better, I have you in person. For those people -- I keep coming back to this -- who don't know the name Katharine Graham, what does it mean to those of us who are -- you know, working stiffs in journalism, reporters? What did what she do mean for us?

BRUCE MORTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For one thing, if you ask any working are reporter, and I've been one for a long time, as have you, what's the perfect boss? Who is the perfect boss? The perfect boss says go cover this story, get it right and I'm behind you 100 percent, and that's what she did.

Hired Ben Bradlee, said go get 'em. Looked at Woodward and Bernstein, said really, there's a cover-up here. This Watergate thing is one? Go get it. And here is the woman who can say stop? Are you sure? Saying, you think you got it, I'm with you all the way. That's a boss made in heaven, that just is.

WOODRUFF: And she didn't have to do that. She was getting considerable pressure at the time of the Pentagon Papers, the folks -- the business side of "The Post" was saying to her, wait a minute. We might not be able to buy these television stations. We might lose the license. We've got you worry about this, and that became an issue later with Watergate as well?

MORTON: She said in one of the interviews I read about the Pentagon Papers, the lawyers are off in one part saying, don't do it, don't do it. The business people are saying, we're scared, we're scared. The newsies are saying go. And she went. That's a boss.

WOODRUFF: Can you imagine what her gut was like at that moment because here was someone who had only been at the helm of the newspaper then for -- at the time of the Pentagon Papers, for just seven years. Her husband died in 1963. She didn't become -- she became president of the paper, she didn't become publisher until a few years after that. I'm just trying to think, Bruce, as we stand here, who else do we know of in America in the year 2001 who would command the sort of people who we've seen show up at this cathedral nor the size of the audience here?

MORTON: A president, certainly, a maybe secretary of state. John Foster Dulles, Eisenhower's secretary of state, had his service here. I can't think of anybody in our business, I can't think of anybody in the news business in the corporate sense, and I can't think of a woman who could have filled this house as she has today.

WOODRUFF: I think, Bruce, we're looking at the scene inside the cathedral where John Danforth, former Republican senator from the state of Missouri, who is ordained Episcopal priest, is reading. We know that he will be delivering the homily today at this service, but I know that is -- I hear his voice, and so, even we can't see very well out here, let's listen in to the Katharine Graham service.

JOHN DANFORTH, FRM. U.S. SENATOR: ... For none of us liveth to himself and no man dieth to himself for if we live, we live unto the Lord, and if we die, we die under the Lord. Whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, even so sayeth the spirit, for they rest from their labors.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Lord be with you. While standing, let us pray. Oh, God, whose mercies cannot be numbered, accept our prayers on behalf of thy servant, Katharine, and grant her an entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of thy saints; through Jesus Christ, thy son, our lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

CONGREGATION: Amen.

(HALLELUJAH)

BILL GRAHAM, MRS. GRAHAM'S SON: The lesson is written in Chapter 21 Chapter of The Revelation of St. John the Divine, beginning at the first verse: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

"And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

"And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

"And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

"And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

"He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." The word of the lord.

CONGREGATION: Praise to God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remaining seated, please turn in your service leaflet, and let us read Psalm 23 in unison.

CONGREGATION: "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

"He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever."

CONGREGATION: (singing "O God, Our Help in Ages Past")

WOODRUFF: The hymn "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" sung by a congregation, a crowd of perhaps 4,000 people gathered at the Washington National Cathedral for the funeral of Katharine Graham, one of the most influential American women of the last century, the most important woman ever to head a major American newspaper -- a woman who helped to change journalism into what it is, the free and dynamic press in the United States, that it is today. Katharine Graham died last Tuesday at the age of 84, after suffering a fall while she was attending a conference in Idaho.

She is today remembered by Vice President Dick Cheney; former President Bill Clinton; his wife, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton; and in just a moment, we will hear tributes from Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state; and the historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. There will be a performance by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. And the tributes will continue, from Ben Bradlee, longtime executive editor of "The Washington Post," who worked, perhaps, more closely with Katharine Graham than anyone else at the "Post"; and members of the Graham family -- her children, including Don Graham who has taken over the reigns of this newspaper.

The service continues.

HENRY KISSINGER, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: The friendship Nancy and I shared with Kay Graham is one of the legacies of government service that we cherish most. Unlike so many Washington relationships, which end with the exercise of power, it grew in intensity in the decades since. Yet "The Washington Post" had been a relentless critic of many aspects of the administrations in which I served.

This seeming paradox was overwhelmed by the admiration and affection I came to feel for Kay as a person. Strong and, at the same time, somewhat shy; appreciative of humor; unobtrusively purposeful; never bitter; and always brave; matter of factly loyal to her friends, and deeply devoted to her family; Kay ennobled all her human relationships.

Who can forget the somewhat mischievous way she and Meg Greenfield would comment on the foibles of Washington -- and even more so the exquisite tenderness with which Kay looked after Meg in the difficult last years of Meg's life?

After a great personal tragedy, Kay took over the "Washington Post," and with no previous experience and not a little diffidence, built it into one of the world's most respected newspapers. She fiercely defended its freedom of expressions and was a seminal figure in the battle to submit even the highest officials to ethical and judicial norms.

Kay was also a symbol of the permanent Washington, the transmutes, the partisanship of the moment, into national purpose and lasting values. In that role, she tended to look with a certain wonder at the prominence fate had brought her and to treat it as obligation to build the basis for eventual healing.

The Kay of the permanent establishment never lost sight of the fact that societies thrive not by the victories of their factions, but by their ultimate reconciliations.

Kay and I met in 1969 at the home of Joe Alsop, another member of Washington's permanent establishment. Technically a "Washington Post" columnist, Joe showed his calling in protecting the nation from the depredations of the ignorant. Though his views rarely intersected with those of his publisher, Kay treated Joe with respect and enormous affection, occasionally tinged with exasperation.

For his 70th birthday, Kay nevertheless gave him a big party to celebrate his contributions to our nation. A few weeks after I arrived in Washington, Joe invited me to meet Kay at his house for dinner for the three of us, because, as he said, "You cannot be in Washington, dear boy, without knowing Kay Graham."

Unfortunately, the evening did not turn out as Joe had planned. The president had called me into his office just as I was preparing to leave. And I had instructed my secretary to call Joe periodically to explain the delay. Joe considered a telephone call from my secretary a profound social offense, a subject on which he held forth at great length and with considerable passion when I arrived an hour late.

So it happened that Kay was obliged to spend most of the evening calming the irate Joe, a task she accomplished with customary grace and humor, gradually reducing Joe's successive eruptions to manageable proportions.

As the months went by, Kay remedied the initial lack of dialogue between us. She would invite me to small dinners with one or two people to evoke, with persistent and calm probing, a discussion about the nation's future beyond the issues of today. In the midst of a divisive Vietnam debate, Kay telephoned and said: "You need some rest. Let's go to the movies." Ever thorough, she sent over "Post" reviews of the choices available. And the movie audience was truly startled when the lights went up and they saw us sitting together.

During yet another crisis, Kay telephoned with a comparable message: "Things are tough right now. Why don't you use my home in Virginia for the weekend?"

These and many similar gestures, too frequent to recount, were Kay's way of affirming the permanent Washington to which human relations matter more than the controversies of the day, and in which the political battles were a prelude to new elaborations of the national purpose.

As the decades went by, the bonds between Kay and Nancy and me became ever stronger. We saw each other frequently. We exchanged annual, what diplomats would call, reciprocal weekend visits in the summer, for the timing and guest lists of which negotiations usually started in February.

(LAUGHTER)

KISSINGER: I saw Kay the last time about three weeks ago, when she'd spent the weekend at our house in Connecticut. She was in good form: relaxed, interested, humorous. Thunderstorms prevented her from leaving as she had planned. So we watched a movie together. And then she mused about her family.

She wanted to buy a present for Lally's imminent birthday. And she was not sure whether to surprise her or whether, in order to be sure of Lally's approval, let her pick it out herself. Kay spoke with pride and warmth of Lally's success as a writer, Steve's sense of humor and work in the theater, of Bill's role in the financial world, and of Don's surefootedness at the helm of the "Washington Post."

She was clearly at peace with herself. It is hard to believe that Kay is no longer among us. But in a way, she will never leave us. Her place in this country will not be filled, nor the void her death leaves in the lives of her friends and her family. Yet in the pain of this moment, none of us would trade places with those whose lives were never touched by Kay Graham.

ARTHUR SCHLESINGER, HISTORIAN: We first met, Katharine and I, in the autumn of 1945 at the end of the war, when Phil Graham came back from the Pacific and I came back from the European Theater and joined my then-wife, who had a house near the Grahams in Georgetown.

Phil was an astonishing man: truly a dazzler, brilliant, funny, filled with restless energy, with initiatives and ideas and passion. He charged everything he said and did with electric excitement. Only John Kennedy, among my contemporaries, had comparable gifts of intelligence and charm. But Phil also had his dark side. He was harried by demons, swinging from manic exuberance to the destructiveness generated by clinical depression.

Kay, when I first met her, was quietly charming and welcoming, a little shy, transparently adoring of her powerful and irresistible husband. She also had powerful parents. Her mother was an overwhelming force, deeply self-centered, bearing down on her children like a galleon in full sail, all guns firing. Her father, the banker, public servant and newspaper publisher Eugene Meyer, was emphatic and imperious, but his love for Katharine and his faith in her gave his daughter reserved strength and the capacity not just for survival, but ultimately for victory.

Kay was never altogether a doormat. Born to the protections of privilege. she nevertheless showed independence and resolve from an early age. She left a proper patrician college in the Northeast for a great urban university in the Midwest, and on graduation, went still further west to join a rowdy tabloid in San Francisco.

While her husband was overseas during the war, she worked for her father's paper, "The Washington Post," but on Phil's return, she receded from her journalistic career into the pattern roles of wife and mother customary of young women of her generation.

With an overpowering mother and a manic depressive husband, her confidence in herself was under constant stress. The 1960s were Kay's time of ultimate testing. Phil Graham had become more erratic, out of control, hectic, unhinged; the life enhancer was turning into a life destroyer. After shattering the marriage, Phil took his own life in August 1963, leaving Katharine with four children, a newspaper, a weekly magazine, sundry television and radio stations and desperate questions about the future.

Tormented by self-doubt, Kay steeled herself and decided to keep the properties in the family. For a while, she sat silent and bemused at meetings at "The Post" or "Newsweek," not knowing what she was supposed to say or do. She consulted with old friends in the newspaper world, especially Walter Lippman and Scotty Reston. Her confidence slowly grew. She developed skills she did not know she had, and firmly and gracefully established her authority.

By 1966, to her wry amusement, Truman Capote gave her what amounted to a coming out party in the famous Black and White Ball. More serious challenges awaited. This was the high noon of the imperial presidency. The chief executive of the United States was using the sources of official secrecy in order to conceal mistakes of policy and abuses of power.

When "The New York Times," defying the secrecy system, began to print the Pentagon Papers and then was enjoined by the government from further publication, Kay overruled cautious lawyers and directed "The Post" to continue publishing the documents. The information contained in the Pentagon Papers, Kay felt, was exactly the kind of information the public needed to form intelligent opinions and to make intelligent choices. "We may wholeheartedly embrace the pledge of no more Vietnams," she said, "but until we open up the system and expose its workings to the light of public scrutiny, that pledge will remain in the realm of empty rhetoric."

Even more important was Kay Graham's next battle against the imperial presidency, the battle of Watergate. "The Post"'s hard- hitting reporters, aided by the still mysterious Deep Throat, who may very well be among us this morning...

(LAUGHTER)

SCHLESINGER: ... relentlessly uncovered the illegal actions of a panicky White House. Katharine Graham ignored the vulgar threats an attorney general of the United States and "The Post" proceeded to build the case that led inexorably to a first in American history: the resignation of a president.

Watergate was the twilight of the imperial presidency. It led to a new recognition of the crucial role of an independent, incorruptible and energetic press, and to a valuable reeducation of the American people in the meaning of our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Kay was now the mistress of her job. She enlarged the size and wealth as well as the influence of the communications empire she had inherited. Her leadership, integrity, and fortitude set standards for media lords in America and beyond, and she had become herself a handsome, stylish, and relaxed woman, easy in manner, ironic in speech, confident in judgment.

In vindicating herself, she become -- she was a quiet revolutionary on behalf of all women. Brought up to expect the life of marriage and motherhood, she helped transformed the expectations that so long had cramped and confined her sex. From ending the archaic Washington ritual of separating of the sexes after dinner, to breaking into a business that men regarded as their private property, to showing that women can beat men at their own game, she encouraged and emboldened other woman to enter hitherto forbidden fields.

Hers was, in a sense, a privileged life, but her struggles for a sense of self-worth and fulfillment were those of so many women in her time. Her wonderful memoir, "A Personal History," tells with uncommon, honesty delicacy and insight, the travail and triumph of an American woman in the late 20th century. Katharine Graham was a very gallant lady. She will leave an enduring mark on the nation's capital, and on the American press. She will leave an irreparable gap in the hearts of her friends.

(MUSIC)

BEN BRADLEE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, Moms, what a way to go: lunch with Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson on that last day; bridge with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates the day before; dinner the night before that with admiring moguls galore, plus the new president of Mexico, and now Yo-Yo Ma to send you on your storied way. Not bad for the widowed mother of four who started her career at the top 38 years ago in great tragedy and great trepidation. Not bad at all.

Speaking of widowed mother of four, did you ever hear of the widowed grandmother defense, developed by our lawyers when Spiro T. Agnew tried to subpoena our reporters' notes in the effort to escape jail? We had refused to surrender these note. Reporters don't own their own notes, Joe Califano told the district court, the owner of the paper owns them, and let's see if they dare throw Katharine Graham in jail.

She was delighted at the prospect. Maybe not all of you understand exactly what it takes to make a great newspaper. It takes a great owner. Period. An owner who committed herself with passion and the highest standards in principles to a simple search for the truth. With fervor, not favor, with fairness and courage, great owners help reporters and editors shine a bright light on the darkest corners of society.

This is what Kay Graham brought to the table, plus so much more, like a love for news, a love for answers, and a love for a piece of the action. In my memories, Katharine always seems to be laughing. Once during the Reagan administration, we were battling the CIA, the NSA, and the White House about a story called "Ivy Bells." The Russians had learned from an American spy about a super top secret diving bell which we had invented to clamp onto underwater Soviet cables.

As a result, we knew where the Soviets were and what they were up to. But the Soviets had found our bell, removed it, and taken it back to Moscow. The feds were about to lose their fight to keep all of this out of the paper when they pulled out their secret weapon, the big kahuna himself, the president of these United States. Kay was in the shower when the maid knocked on the glass door to tell her President Reagan is on the phone for you.

My all-time favorite image of the most powerful woman in the world ensued. Kay comes flying out of the shower, soaking wet, grabs a towel and starts looking for some pencil and paper. The paper gets soggy, the pencil punctures the paper, but finally she is ready. Brenda Starr, girl reporter, is at the scene and ready to go.

(LAUGHTER)

BRADLEE: Yes, Mr. President, she says, and the president starts telling her about operation Ivy Bells which neither one of them had ever heard of before that day.

(LAUGHTER)

BRADLEE: Kay takes notes furiously until she noticed -- notices the president is repeated himself, obviously speaking from cue cards about the danger to the republic if "The Post" published. You all know that Katharine was a very social person. She liked exclusive clubs, fancy parties, and fancy guests.

But there was one small club she couldn't get into no matter how hard she tried and she did try. It had only three member: Edward Bennett Williams, Art Buchwald and myself. It had only one purpose: to keep other people out.

(LAUGHTER)

BRADLEE: In her efforts to join this club, Kay pointed out that she had hired Williams as "The Post" lawyer and could fire them like that; that I served, of course, at her will and that Buchwald's columns could be canceled at any time. And she noted, we had no members of the female persuasion in our club. But she still didn't get in. Buchwald and Williams confided to her that I was the problem.

(LAUGHTER)

BRADLEE: They voted to admit her every time, they said, in their suck-up voices.

(LAUGHTER)

BRADLEE: But it was Bradlee who regularly black-balled her. But on her 65th birthday, she was invited to join us from lunch. Before the soup even, Buchwald announced to my surprise, that we had at least invited her to become a member. She was thrilled, almost giddy, until the very end of lunch. Williams grew suddenly serious and told her that, unfortunately, the club had a 65 and out rule...

(LAUGHTER)

BRADLEE: ... and we reluctantly had to accept her resignation.

(LAUGHTER)

BRADLEE: She threw her head back and guffawed. Kay's laughter will ring in the ears of all of her friends for a long time. I can hear her now telling me she had finally found a much better title for her book than I had for mine, which was called "A Good Life." She suggested "A Better Life" for hers and beamed.

I can hear her wondrous laugh now when she showed me a beautiful miniature gold ringer, delicately crafted for her by an admiring dentist after Attorney General John Mitchell had said publicly, that she was going to get her you know what caught in a ringer if she let "The Post" keep printing stories about Watergate. And I can hear her roar even louder when Art Buchwald hand-delivered a miniature gold you know what to go with the ringer.

She wore them proudly, as charms, in a plain gold necklace, at least around the office. She even laughed when she was scared -- not really scared, but concerned about the power of some of the big shots in whose sights we found in from time to time. As in, if this is such a great story, where the hell are all the other papers? And as in, are we all right? because if not, don't look below.

We used to send each other Christmas letter instead of presents, and in one of these she talked about our years of learning, of stumbling, of fun, of achievements, but especially of fun. My God, she wrote the fun. It's unfair. Who else has this kind of fun? In another Christmas letter, she said, it is a pleasure to do business with you, which was the understatement of my lifetime. And she closed one letter by reminding me the all-important thing is to continue to have fun en route. I send you a big hug, a kiss and a goose. Whoever got a better Christmas present than that?

She was a spectacular dame and I loved her very much.

(APPLAUSE)

LALLY WEYMOUTH, KATHARINE GRAHAM'S DAUGHTER: I am Lally, the oldest of the four children of Katharine Graham, and I have three brothers, two of whom who are going to speak to you briefly. I can tell you one thing about my mother, which is, that she would have loved this funeral. She would be very happy and surprised, actually, that so many of you are here, and she'd also be very grateful, I think, that you took the time to come to honor her and so are we.

My mother had really firm views about a lot of things: about politics, about people, about who was a bore, and who was not. She loves her friend, her family, her country, and the newspaper and magazine that she led from 1963 onward. I think it's really hard to describe to you, those of you who didn't know her as well as the four of us, the journey that my mother undertook, and what a really incredible transformation she underwent.

When we were kids, for her and for us, it was, I would say, a personal journey before it was personal history. In the first part of her life, she enjoyed being a wife and mother. We were driven to the Safeway regularly. Then, suddenly, our father, Phil Graham, who was the publisher of "The Washington Post" died, and my mother never doubted for a moment, in spite of mixed advice, what she would do. She would take his place and learn to run the business.

It's true that in the very beginning, she used to practice her speech to "The Washington Post" Christmas party over and over again in our bedroom and make us listen to "Merry Christmas."

But ultimately, she found her voice as many of you know, and through the years, she grew into the woman and the leader that you are all familiar with. My mother indeed became part of the life of America, and her own life was intertwined with the politics and personalities of the age; the hopes and fears of women everywhere and the press's struggle to be a guardian of freedom.

She was a reporter at heart, always. She relished calling up journalists who worked for "The Post" and "Newsweek" to pass along tidbits she had learned in dinner or elsewhere and many of her friends, including me, know how hard it was to keep Mommy from leaking a tidbit to the style section. Indeed, I once visited the pope, and I called her up and told her a funny story and I came back and found that she had scooped me by leaking it to Lloyd Grove of "Style," for which he apologized, of course.

She loved great conversation. My mother and her oldest and dearest friend, who is out there somewhere today, Polly Fritchey, used to talk every morning at 9:00 when we were kids and my father dubbed their conversations the 9:00 network and, of course, talk about whether we'd been bad or whatever, you know.

My mother was a woman of parts. She was fascinated by intellectuals, writers, reporters, and then Truman Capote's Black and White Ball introduced her into a social world she found both diverting and delightful. She saw the powerful at work and at play, whizzing around President Johnson's ranch in Texas and lunching with Nancy Reagan frequently when President Reagan was in the White House.

I can report to you that her last weeks were full of fun, as Ben said. We had a blast. She spend Southampton, my daughter Katharine, my granddaughter Madeline (ph) in Southampton. We danced and danced. Then went off to Sun Valley for her conference of tycoons, which he absolutely adored and always looked forward to. Our mutual friend Barry Diller, who's out there somewhere, reported to me that she had a fabulous week. And Barry told me that Diane Sawyer tried to take my mother home one night because she looked very tired, and my mother snapped at Diane, no, I don't want to go yet.

In the end, she had final word when we were in Boise, Idaho. Most people have living wills written for them; but not my mother. She actually is the one client of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) who wrote her own. Perhaps her words will give you some comfort as they did the four of us kids.

She wrote that if she were terminally ill and had no expectation of recovery, she did not want to be kept alive by artificial means. Death, my mother wrote, is as much a reality as birth, growth, maturity and old age. It is the one certainty I do not fear death.

DONALD GRAHAM, KATHARINE GRAHAM'S SON: My mother, who as noted, had certain standards in these things, would want us to thank Bishop Dixon, the clergy, Yo-Yo Ma and all the musicians and above all, my sister Lally, for her role in organizing this magnificent service.

The story of Katharine Graham is reasonably well-known. In fact, several of you commented after reading her book that you felt ready to move in with our family.

So, as all of us say a word about my mother, I would like to talk mostly about all of you. She was an extraordinarily good friend, and she was well rewarded for it with some of the most loving, longest- lasting friendships a person could have, and with many, many acts of kindness from all of you. There are people here who were Kay's friends for 30, 40, 50 years. Polly Fritchey was a friend so close that our father's nickname for her was Only.

Two people who should have been speaking here today, as noted, were Joe Alsop and Meg Greenfield. We all felt that the predecessor encouraged to her decision on the Pentagon Papers was the evening at Joe's, at the time when men and women separated after dinner at all Washington dinner parties, and my mother announced that if the men and women separated, she was going home.

In business, Warren Buffett was her friend and confidence- builder, as she described in "Personal History."

But in recent years, as her life's pace slowed a bit, many of you were such kind friends to her. You knew she was having a somewhat harder time, and so, for example, Walter and Ann Pincus and Tim Page (ph) stepped forward to go with her to the symphony; Ann Jordan would take her to the opera; Kay Jamison, Richard Wyatt (ph), the Rafshoons, Margaret Carlson and so many others to the movies; Bob McNamara to church; Trish Allslip (ph) and Cynthia Helms, both friends of many, many years, Sharon Osburg (ph) and many others played hours of bridge with her. There were New York friends, London friends, Vineyard friend -- friends all over wherever she went.

And there were literally hundreds of you who kindly invited her over for a visit or a meal, and I want you to know that she critically appraised every single one.

As lucky as she was in her friendships, she was impossibly lucky in her staff, most of all in Liz Hilton (ph), her assistant of 40 years; equally so in Lloyd Butler (ph), who drove her everywhere and spent hours walking with her as she recovered from surgeries; Lucy Ortiz (ph), Teresa Hernandez (ph), Orlinda Pinto (ph), and her old friend Dora (ph) took care of her at her home all for 20 years or more and enabled her to stay in it. She took pride in the daily artistry of Alandavi (ph) and told the world she couldn't have written her book without Ev Small. Buck Nalls (ph) and his family managed her farm all years she owned it and are still there.

To those at the "Post" and "Newsweek" and the company, she had a unique relationship. She was a believer in the oldest journalistic virtues. She loved scoops; her only question was, Are you sure you are right? She favored fairness, daring, digging, honesty, and nonpartisanship. She loved a good story and burst with pride at the people who wrote them and who did any other key job well. A product of Washington in the New Deal and the war years, she was old-fashioned in the best sense of the word: a primitive American patriot, an internationalist; a mother and grandmother who reached out to huge extended family; a woman of hundreds of instinctive generous gestures; at her best in a crisis; a great friend.

Her friendships had one thing in common: She loved people who made her laugh.

STEPHEN GRAHAM, MRS. GRAHAM'S SON: I'm Stephen, the youngest child and the last speaker. Lots of people who have observed or written about my mother over the years have pointed out the seeming paradox that, although she was generally warm and relaxed, and even earthy, in private encounters, she could also seem remote, aloof, or even -- to use a word that she particularly disliked in reference to herself -- imperious on certain occasions. These occasions, according to my own observations, were mainly public ones at which she felt uncomfortable: crowded receptions, hallways, elevators, and social events that featured large numbers of people she didn't know.

I've been thinking about why this should be since my mother was not shy, in the conventional sense, and here's what I think. Although she was, by any definition, a public person, my mother couldn't muster up a public facade. She could be herself in public, under the right circumstances, but she couldn't perform. She was no good at backslapping and processed joviality. In other words, and with all due respect for the politicians among us today, she was no politician.

Most of us, I think, have various selves that we put on in various social contexts. In T.S. Eliot's phrase, we prepare a face to meet the faces that we meet. But this was less true of my mother than of most people I know. She had one self, an extraordinarily whole and complete self, and it served for all occasions.

Anyone who both knew her and read her memoir, "Personal History," will know what I mean. Her book is as good as it is because she did not try to be writerly or literary. It wouldn't have occurred to her to try. Instead, what she did was talk to her yellow pads for seven years, in exactly the same way she talked to her friends at the dinner table. The result is a book that is simply an extension of her best self. The book's voice is her voice.

And to those who are surprised by its honesty, I would say that I honestly don't think she could have written it any other way.

When I say my mother had a whole and complete self, I mean, among other things, that there were no big gaps or discontinuities between her private and her public life. The things she worried about in her bedroom at 3:00 in the morning were the same things she worried about at her desk in "The Washington Post" company. I see this as partly generational. She and my father belonged to the generation that came of age in the Depression and the Second World War, and like many of her Washington friends and contemporaries, my mother saw private and public life as part of the same continuum.

She did, of course, know the difference between having dinner with her children and having dinner with the president, but I think she applied the same broad set of rules, the same canons of right and wrong, to both occasions. If the president said something she strongly disapproved of, although she might have been more circumspect than she would have been with us, nevertheless, she would have spoken her mind.

Some of the factors that made her an effective and successful public person also made her a difficult parent, at least when I was younger. People with whole, complete selves tend to know exactly what they think about things, and she was not shy about expressing her opinions. She worried about things and tried to fix them, and among the things she worried about and tried to fix were her children. I may have needed more fixing than some of the others.

At any rate, during my adolescence, I resented these attempted repairs, and I often resented her. But then, in my 20s, I began a process that will, I think, be familiar to many of you who came to know my mother: I progressed from an initial stance of intimidation; awe; and occasionally -- yes -- fear to a gradual understanding that she was a warm, sometimes vulnerable, often very funny, often very generous person.

She metamorphosed from a parent with all that that entails into a friend. She never quite stopped being a parent, though. In her 80s, she would still have liked to fix us if it had been possible. Ever since the day when playing Old Capulet in a Saint Alden's School (ph) production of "Romeo and Juliet," I donned a silvery wig and everyone told me I looked exactly like my mother...

(LAUGHTER)

S. GRAHAM: I have realized that I carry parts of her around with me, and always will. I no longer wince when I hear myself laugh and then snort at the end of it as she did. I share many of her likes and dislikes. I loved Broadway musicals and Hitchcock films; I can't understand classical music written after 1900.

I remember that when her mother, Agnes Meyer died, my mother seemed suddenly to have become more like her, to have appropriated some other her mannerisms and expressions. If this happens to me, I hope I take on some of her worrying. She was constantly worrying about things she should or shouldn't have said or done or things she might have done better.

This was not idle fretfulness, but constructive worry. She worried her way to some pretty good decisions over the years. Now, as a person who could probably stand to worry more, if I could lay claim to any portion of my mother psychic estate, that is what I would most like to inherit; that higher quality of worry that served her so well.

(MUSIC)

WOODRUFF: As the fourth of Katharine Graham's children finish their remarks to this crowd of 4,000 people, as Vice President Dick Cheney, former President Bill Clinton, billionaire Bill Gates, AOL's Steve Case; so many others look on, 84-year-old Katharine Graham's life is celebrated here at Washington's National Cathedral. A remarkable, who rose from being the daughter of wealth, the wife of brilliant newspaper publisher, to become the most powerful woman in the American news media, one of the most influential people of her time.

She helped convert the press to a true co-equal of the three branches of government in the United States, who inspired and mentored hundreds upon hundreds of journalist, especially women journalists, including this one. But among all, above all as you have been hearing, she was a friend to so many. And this service has truly been a personal tribute and a celebration of a life of Katharine Graham.

I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington. Our coverage of the service concludes now.

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