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Sat Jul 20, 2013, 04:47 PM

Helen Thomas opened White House press corps to women

WASHINGTON — Helen Thomas, the feisty, trailblazing White House reporter who tore down historic barriers that had stymied women journalists for generations, died Saturday at 92.

After becoming the first woman reporter assigned to cover the president rather than just the First Lady, Thomas covered 10 presidents from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama. Most of the time, she reported for United Press International.
Thomas got her break when assigned to cover President-elect Kennedy’s post-election vacation in Palm Beach, Fla. She soon fought her way to the news side of coverage, a move unheard of at the time. She would go on to become an officer at three of Washington’s loftiest symbols of journalistic clout: The White House Correspondents Association, the Gridiron Club and the National Press Club. In 1974, she became the first woman White House bureau chief for a wire service.

Thomas became embroiled in controversy in recent years because of her remarks critical of Israel. But she was remembered Saturday for her groundbreaking career. “Helen was a true pioneer, opening doors and breaking down barriers for generations of women in journalism,” President Barack Obama said Saturday.

Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/07/20/197205/helen-thomas-opened-white-house.html#.Uer1aqa9LCQ#storylink=cpy

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Sat Jul 20, 2013, 04:50 PM

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