Katharine Graham was the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 Company in 1972, just 41 years ago. Her position at the Washington Post was originally passed down from her father to her husband. However, when her husband died, she took the reigns of the company. Although the position was part of her family’s legacy her strength and perseverance made huge political waves.
It was under her influence that the Post published papers exposing the Pentagon’s secret history of the Vietnam War, as well as that of the Watergate scandal. Although the Nixon administration threatened to pull the Post’s television license, and her lawyers advised against it, Mrs. Graham didn’t feel like the government should interfere with good journalism. She held her ground and published the controversial work.