Merrill Memorial

At yesterday’s memorial service for publisher Philip Merrill, “Vice President Cheney delivered the first in a series of eulogies, drawing laughs from about 1,000 guests in the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium,” according to the Washington Post.

Former CIA director R. James Woolsey said, “I can only understand that [Merrill’s] great heart betrayed him. . . . It must be seen as a tragic single event” at the end of an otherwise positive life. Other speakers included Merrill’s three children, John Limpert, editor of the Washingtonian and University of Maryland President C. D. “Dan” Mote Jr.

Washington Post stated that Merrill “was apparently suffering from depression when he took his life,” outlining the signs and struggles of the illness.

A reader who attended sent us a report. Click below…


“With the vice presidential seal on the podium and Dick Cheney himself in the front row, nearly 1000 Washingtonians gathered to remember Washingtonian magazine publisher/diplomat/sailor/father Phil Merrill yesterday. The speakers at the packed Mellon Auditorium event, who included former CIA director and Merrill sailing partner Jim Woolsey, UMD President C.D. Moat, Cheney, and Washingtonian editor Jack Limpert, memorialized Merrill as an independent larger-(and louder)-than-life man who loved his country, long family vacations, and the life and businesses that he had carefully built over seven decades.

“Testifying to the broad swath Merrill cut through the region, famous names in attendance ran the gamut from Senators Sarbanes and Mikulski to Colin and Alma Powell to Baltimore Sun editor Tim Franklin to former congressman Tom McMillen to DC power broker Bob Barnett to many other business, media, and government types, including decades of former Merrill employees and staff.

“The three Merrill children all spoke, each remembering how their father was at home like he was in business: loud, inquisitive, and fun-filled, although he loved nothing more than sailing and skiing.

“After the service and a rousing rendition of “Battle Hymn of the Republic” by Washingtonian staffer Reba Patterson, guests filed into the lobby for a reception featuring two of Phil’s favorites: ice cream and chocolate chip cookies. “