Helen Thomas, who covered every president from Eisenhower to Obama, has died. Thomas, 92, was born in Kentucky to parents who were immigrants from Lebanon. Her first job in journalism was as a copygirl for the Washington Daily News. She joined United Press in 1943 where she would remain for 57 years. Early in her career, Thomas reported on women’s issues and would later cover federal agencies including the Department of Justice and the FBI. She began covering the White House following the election of John F. Kennedy, in the last days of the Eisenhower administration. She left UPI in 2000 and joined Hearst news service.
Thomas had a front row seat — literally — at the White House, front and center in the briefing room. When she left the White House in 2010, Fox News got her front row seat, thanks in part from some lobbying by then-CNN White House correspondent Ed Henry, who is now with FNC.
In recent years, Thomas wrote for the Falls Church News-Press, contributing a weekly column until January, 2012. In its obituary, the paper says Thomas, “came out of a retirement induced by a cascade of criticism from her journalistic colleagues for off-hand comments she was recorded making that were taken out of context in June 2010.”
Rest in peace Helen Thomas. We sparred. We laughed. I so admired her tenacity.
— GeorgeStephanopoulos (@GStephanopoulos) July 20, 2013
Helen was a better reporter than she was a writer – but in her prime had more than her share of scoops the rest of us would try to match.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) July 20, 2013