Journalist Helen Thomas, who occupied the coveted front-row seat in the White House briefing room for decades –allowing her the privilege of the first question during press conferences– died early Saturday at the age of 92. Her career spanned every president from Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama.
Thomas broke barriers, becoming the first female member of the historic Gridiron Club, the oldest and most prestigious journalistic organizations in the world, and later became that organization’s president. She covered the White House for United Press International for 57 years before moving to Hearst Newspapers in 2000 as a columnist. She was often criticized for her Liberal views, and was forced from her position at Hearst –and her front-row seat at the White House — in 2010 when she stated in an interview that Israel should, “get the hell out of Palestine.”
There is no denying Helen’s contribution to history and presidential politics. She was a trailblazer, a voice for women’s issues by breaking the glass ceiling for female journalists, and there will be no one else like her in our lifetime.
WATCH Helen Thomas questioning Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during one of her final moments at the White House in 2010:
WATCH other journalists praise Helen for her place in American politics and journalism: