Chairman and CEO, Washington Post Company
Graham got the top job the old-fashioned way: She inherited it. Her father, Eugene Meyer, bought the Post in 1933; Graham took over the reins after the suicide of her husband in 1963. She led The Washington Post through the Vietnam era, publishing the Pentagon Papers, and Watergate, a story the Post owned. At the same time, she oversaw the changes that turned a once-struggling local newspaper into a national force. The company, which also owns Newsweek, diversified into television and took stakes in other newspapers. In the process, she became the first woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and a staple on "most admired women" lists.
"The thing women must do to rise to power is to redefine their femininity," she once said. "Once power was considered a masculine attribute. In fact power has no sex."