Philip Graham dealt with alcoholism and mental illness throughout his marriage to Katharine. He had mood swings and often belittled her, calling her horrible names. On Christmas Eve in 1962, Katharine found out her husband was having an affair with Robin Webb, an Australian stringer for Newsweek. Philip declared that he would divorce his wife for Robin and he made motions to divide up the couple’s assets.
At a newspaper conference in Phoenix, Arizona, Philip apparently had a nervous breakdown.
….called for his doctor, Leslie Farber, who flew in by private jet, as did (subsequently) Graham’s wife. Graham was sedated, bound in a straitjacket, and flown back to Washington. He was committed for five days to Chestnut Lodge, a psychiatric hospital in Rockville, Maryland.
During a weekend release from Chestnut Lodge on August 3, 1963, Philip Graham committed suicide with a 28-gauge shotgun at the couple’s Glen Welby home.