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Helen Thomas

Helen ThomasAKA Helen A. Thomas

Born: 4-Aug-1920
Birthplace: Winchester, KY
Died: 20-Jul-2013
Location of death: Washington, DC
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: Middle Eastern
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Journalist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: White House reporter from 1961 - 2010

Veteran print journalist and strident liberal Helen Thomas was in the White House press corps from the start of the Kennedy administration in 1961 until the Obama administration. She worked for United Press International for 57 years, resigning in 2000, the day after UPI was purchased by Rev Sun Myung Moon's News World Communications Inc. She was then syndicated by Hearst. While her longevity at the post once afforded some ceremonial perks -- front row seat in the press room, always called on first at Presidential briefings -- she was known for asking tough questions with tougher follow-ups.

As she grew older she also grew more blunt in her assessment of politicians. In a November 2002 talk at MIT, Thomas revealed: "I censored myself for 50 years when I was a reporter. Now I wake up and ask myself, 'Who do I hate today?'" Two months later, the answer to that question revealed itself in an off-the-record comment to a reporter from the Torrance, California Daily Breeze following the Society of Professional Journalists annual awards banquet. "This (George W. Bush) is the worst President ever. He is the worst President in all of American history."

She resigned from Hearst in 2010, after making an off-the-cuff comment perceived by many as anti-Semitic: "Tell [the Israelis] to get the hell out of Palestine." She died in 2013.

Father: George Thomas (George Antonious)
Mother: Mary
Sister: Katharine (b. 1902)
Sister: Anne
Brother: Matry
Sister: Sabe
Sister: Isabelle
Sister: Josephine
Sister: Barbara
Sister: Genevieve (d. 1988)
Brother: Tommy (d., age 12)
Husband: Douglas B. Cornell (b. 1906, m. Oct-1971, d. 1982)

    High School: Eastern High School, Detroit, MI
    University: BA, Wayne State University (1942)

    United Press International Reporter (1943-2000)
    Hearst Columnist (2000-10)
    Gridiron Club 1975
    National Press Club
    White House Correspondents Association
    Roast: Helen Thomas (1993)
    Roast: Walter Cronkite (1997)
    Roast: Bob Schieffer (2004)
    Syrian Ancestry Paternal

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Fahrenheit 9/11 (17-May-2004) · Herself [VOICE]
    Orwell Rolls in His Grave (23-Oct-2003) · Herself
    Dave (7-May-1993) · Herself

Author of books:
Front Row at the White House: My Life and Times (1999)
Thanks for the Memories Mr. President: Wit and Wisdom from the Front Row at the White House (2002)
Watchdogs of Democracy? The Waning Washington Press Corps and how it Has Failed the Public (2006)


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