Veteran Journalist Helen Thomas Dead At 92

Source: John Bacon / USA Today

Helen Thomas, the pioneering White House reporter who covered every president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama, died Saturday at 92.

Thomas, the first female member of the White House press corps, was known for her dogged persistence and undaunted determination to get to the facts.

Thomas was among the first female reporters to break out of the White House “women’s beat” — the soft stories about presidents’ kids, wives, their teas and their hairdos — and cover the hard news on an equal footing with men.

She became the first female White House bureau chief for a wire service when UPI named her to the position in 1974. She was also the first female officer at the National Press Club, where women had once been barred as members. She had to fight for admission into the 1959 luncheon speech where Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev warned: “We will bury you.”

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