So sad. The longtime White House correspondent who paved the way for female reporters passed away on July 20 at the age of 92.
Helen Thomas, the trailblazing journalist who covered 10 presidents over her 57-year-long career, died on July 20 in her home in Washington, D.C. She was 92 years old.
Helen Thomas: Trailblazing Journalist Dead At 92
Helen’s death was announced in an email sent by the Gridiron Club, a prestigious journalistic organization based in Washington, D.C., according to Politico. Helen became the first female member of the organization in 1975.
“Former Gridiron Club president Helen Thomas, our first female member, died Saturday morning at her Washington apartment after a long illness,” Gridiron member Carl P. Leubsdorf wrote in an email sent out to the club’s members. “She would have been 93 next month.”
Helen’s long career is one filled with many firsts. Starting out in 1955 as a correspondent at United Press International, by 1974 she worked her way up to White House bureau chief, becoming the first woman to hold the position. Helen was also the first female officer of the National Press Club and later became the first woman to join the White House Correspodents’ Association. In 1975, she was the first female to be named president of the prestigious association.
The legendary journalist covered every president from Dwight Eisenhower’s final years in office to most recently Barack Obama.
She wrote three books over her career that nearly spanned six decades, and well into her eighties she acted as a mentor to many young journalists. In 2010, she retired after making controversial remarks about Israel, Israeli Jews, and the Israeli-Palestine conflict that were caught on camera.
But that controversy is barely a blemish on Helen’s incredible career and numerous groundbreaking achievements. She paved the way for female reporters hoping to get into the exclusive club that is Washington D.C. journalism, and her accomplishments will not be forgotten.
Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this difficult time.
WATCH: Helen Thomas Questions Barack Obama
— Andrew Gruttadaro