Reporter Helen Thomas Dead at 92

She covered 10 presidents during her career

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 20, 2013 9:19 AM CDT

(Newser) – Veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas is dead at age 92, reports CNN. The word "trailblazing" is already in heavy use, as here in Politico's early obituary, given that Thomas achieved so many firsts for female journalists—including becoming the first woman to serve as president of the White House Correspondents' Association. She covered 10 presidents, mostly for UPI, but her career ended on a sour note in 2010 when she was caught on video saying that Jews should "get the hell out of Palestine."

  • Washington Post: She was "unintimidated by presidents or press secretaries" and became "known as the dean of the White House press corps." The obituary notes that Thomas was the daughter Lebanese immigrants. "She routinely questioned White House officials over U.S. policies towards Israel and the Middle East, which led some to complain she was sympathetic to Palestinian and Arab viewpoints, tendencies which became more pronounced after she left straight-news reporting for opinion-writing."
  • New York Times: Her "bottomless curiosity and unquenchable drive made her a prominent White House reporter at a time when men dominated the profession."

President Obama, marking his 48th birthday, has cake with Helen Thomas, who shares the same birthday, on Aug. 4. 2009.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
A 2010 photo of Helen Thomas.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
In this April 13, 1981, photo, President Reagan greets Associated Press reporter Jim Gerstenzang, at right, and reporter Helen Thomas, then of United Press International.   (AP Photo/Barry Thumma, File)
In this Aug. 4, 1997, photo, President Clinton helps Helen Thomas blow out the candles on her birthday cake.   (AP Photo/Ruth Fremson)
In this Aug. 2, 2006, photo, President Bush greets Helen Thomas.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Helen Thomas sits front and center in 2006.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
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