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Born: June 22, 1949
Summit, New Jersey, USA
Born: June 16, 1917
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Death: July 17, 2001, Boise, Idaho, USA (head trauma from a fall)
Born: July 9, 1956
Concord, California, USA
Born: August 26, 1921
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Death: October 21, 2014, Washington, D.C.
Born: December 17, 1974
Tampa, Florida, USA
Born: January 15, 1924
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Death: November 9, 2011, Washington, D.C.
Born: October 22, 1962
Naperville, Illinois, USA
Born: January 30, 1920
Birthplace: Marash, Aleppo Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Death: March 11, 2016, Berkeley, California, USA
Born: August 12, 1956
Noranda, Québec, Canada
Born: June 9, 1916
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, USA
Death: July 6, 2009, Washington, D.C.
Born: November 8, 1974
Cardiff, Wales, UK
Born: April 7, 1931
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Born: December 29, 1982
Los Angeles, California, USA
Born: July 3, 1943
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Born: July 4, 1965
Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
Frederick 'Fritz' Beebe
Born: February 20, 1914
Birthplace: Utica, New York, USA
Death: May 1, 1973, New York City, New York, USA (cancer)
Born: January 24, 1981
Copley, Ohio, USA
Born: December 27, 1930
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, USA
Death: May 13, 1999, Washington, D.C. (lung cancer)
Born: April 4, 1964
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Born: June 3, 1929
Birthplace: Albany, New York, USA
Death: June 13, 1989, Duval, Florida, USA (pancreatic cancer)
Yes. Katharine Meyer married Philip Graham on June 5, 1940. Katharine's father, Eugene Meyer, handed The Washington Post over to his son-in-law Philip in 1946, making Philip publisher. In her autobiography Personal History, Katharine said that she never felt slighted by the fact that her father did not give the paper to her. "Far from troubling me that my father thought of my husband and not me, it pleased me. In fact, it never crossed my mind that he might have viewed me as someone to take on an important job at the paper."
Katharine's husband Philip battled alcoholism and mental illness throughout the marriage. On Christmas Eve in 1962, she discovered he was having an affair with Newsweek freelance journalist Robin Webb. Philip planned to divorce Katharine for Webb and started the process of dividing up the couple's assets. However, while at a newspaper conference in Phoenix, he is said to have suffered a nervous breakdown. He returned to Washington, D.C. and entered the Chestnut Lodge psychiatric facility. On August 3, 1963, he was released for the weekend. During our investigation into The Post true story, we learned that Philip committed suicide with a 28-gauge shotgun at the couple's home in Glen Welby. After his death, Katharine Graham stepped in to take control of the newspaper.
No. In the movie, Bradley Whitford portrays Washington Post board member/adviser Arthur Parsons, who expresses the board's concern about having a woman in charge of the paper. "Kay, people are concerned, about having a woman in charge of the paper," says Parsons in the movie. "That she doesn't have the resolve to make the tough choices." He later vehemently opposes the publication of the Pentagon Papers. Fact-checking the accuracy of The Post movie revealed that the antagonist Parsons never existed in real life. He is at best a composite character created to represent those at the paper who felt that Katharine Graham was unqualified to be publisher because she was a woman.
Not exactly. The Post movie true story reveals that The Washington Post did receive the Pentagon Papers on Katharine Graham's birthday, but she wasn't hosting a party at her house. She writes in her memoir Personal History, "I celebrated at dinner with...Bob McNamara at Joe Alsop's." Alsop was a lifelong friend and fellow journalist.
Like in The Post movie, the true story confirms that the journalists camped out in Ben Bradlee's library to sort the papers, which weren't organized well. They had received them in a cardboard box from leaker Daniel Ellsberg after The New York Times had been temporarily banned by the government from publishing any more of the documents. Consistent with the film, national editor Ben Bagdikian, portrayed by Bob Odenkirk, flew the Papers from Boston to Washington, D.C. with the cardboard box beside him. The Post purchased an empty seat next to him on the plane for the box, an "expense the Post didn't mind paying," Katharine Graham writes in her memoir Personal History.
Yes. In answering the question, "How accurate is The Post movie?" we confirmed that at the time of the leak, The Washington Post was in the process of becoming a publicly traded company. Like in the movie, this added to the risk of publishing the Pentagon Papers. The price of its shares would surely drop if the company was hit with an injunction or lawsuits from the government, especially if the paper was found guilty in the end. "We had announced our plans and not sold the stock," Katharine Graham told NPR in 1997. "So we were particularly liable to any kind of criminal prosecution from the government."
Daniel Ellsberg had been working at the RAND corporation when he made the decision to leak the Papers. RAND is a nonprofit government-financed think tank that at that time focused on conducting research and analysis to improve decision making with regard to the military, the nuclear arms race, healthcare, and other government programs. It had taken Ellsberg three months to smuggle out and photocopy the classified military documents, returning each set of originals the following day. In violation of the 1917 Espionage Act and facing 115 years in prison, Ellsberg escaped prosecution after details emerged that government officials had illegally broken into Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office in hopes of finding information in his file that would prove he was mentally unstable (they found nothing useful). It also came to light that the FBI had illegally wiretapped Ellsberg without a court order. As a result, the charges were dropped.
According to Katharine Graham's memoir Personal History, this happened but it wasn't editorial page editor Meg Greenfield who was listening on the phone. The true story behind The Post movie revealed that it was deputy national editor Mary Lou Beatty who was on the phone call. Beatty is not depicted in the film.
No. Here again the movie is somewhat misleading when it comes to Nixon. It's true that Nixon was angered when National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger told him that the leaked documents made him seem like a "weakling," but he did not ban The Washington Post and other newspapers from the White House for publishing them, as the movie would have you believe. In the film, Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) is trying to figure out a way to report on the First Daughter's wedding, given that the Post reporters are not permitted to attend. In reality, banning reporters from covering social events at the White House happened later, when the Watergate scandal was plaguing the Nixon administration. -TIME
In addition to her memoir, get a firsthand account of the true story behind The Post movie by watching the Katharine Graham Pentagon Papers interview below.