Profile: Helen Thomas

Tough questioner was a White House correspondent for six decades.

    Thomas, centre, was considered the dean of White House correspondents (REUTERS) 

    Born in the US city of Detroit in 1920, Helen Thomas is regarded as a pioneer for women in journalism. 

    Thomas, a tough interrogator, worked for the United Press Internatoinal news agency from 1943 before moving to Hearst Newspapers in 2000 as a columnist.

    She covered many beats typically concerning the federal government in her early years with United Press Internatoinal, before joining the agency's White House team after John F Kennedy was elected to office in the 1960s, becoming a White House correspondent.

    She travelled many times with presidents, including Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, on foreign trips. In 1972 she accompanied Nixon on his historic visit to communist China during the Cold War.

    Thomas repeatedly grilled George Bush and his administration over the 2003 Iraq war and subsequent occupation.

    She was the first female office bearer and then president of the White House Correspondents' Association.

    Considered the dean of White House correspondents, Thomas had a seat reserved for her in the building's press briefing room, on the front row.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.