A Grand Farewell for Katharine Graham

ByABC News
July 23, 2001, 12:37 PM

W A S H I N G T O N, July 23 -- Thousands paid tribute today to KatharineGraham, remembering her as a gallant lady who remained steadfast asshe guided The Washington Post through turbulence and extraordinarygrowth.

Graham's power and influence were on display in theWashington National Cathedral, where former President Clinton andVice President Dick Cheney shared a pew with their wives. Senatorsleft the Capitol together in a blue-and-white striped bus to attendthe funeral.

Despite her power in Washington circles, former Secretary ofState Henry Kissinger recalled, she remained "matter of factlyloyal to her friends and deeply devoted to her family."

Kissinger wove his personal tales of friendship with tributes toher contributions to journalism and her fierce defense of the FirstAmendment. Their friendship grew despite the fact that the Postunder her stewardship often was a relentless critic of theadministrations in which he served, he said.

"This paradox was overwhelmed by the admiration and affection Ifelt for Kay as a person," Kissinger said, recalling how Graham once took him out to the movies because he looked weary fromdealing with the Vietnam War.

The Enduring Legacy of a Gallant Lady

Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., another close friend, alsoeulogized her. "Katharine Graham was a very gallant lady. She willleave an enduring mark on the nation's capital and the irreverentpress."

Bill Graham, one of the publisher's son, opened the funeral byreading from the Book of Revelation, and the congregation followedby reading aloud from Psalm 23.

Led by former Sen. John Danforth, an Episcopal priest, and otherpriests, Graham's casket was carried in by former DefenseSecretary Robert McNamara, lawyer Vernon Jordan and broadcastexecutive Barry Diller, among others.

Ben Bradlee, Graham's former executive editor, also waspaid tribute. Cellist Yo-Yo Ma performed "Sarabande" from Bach's"6th Cello Suite."

Graham, a trailblazer among women in business andjournalism, also was honored by those who followed her, televisionnews anchors Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer, who served asushers. Graham died Tuesday at 84.