Tributes have started rolling in for Helen Thomas, one of the first women to break into Washington's notoriously (to this day) male-dominated press corps. Her death was announced on Saturday by the Gridiron Club. Thomas was 92 years old.
The seasoned Washington reporter covered the White House for 49 years, spanning ten Presidents. Her first White House beat was covering the youthful idealism of the Kennedy presidency in 1960. Her career ended during a time of similar hope in the wake of the election of Barack Obama. Working for United Press International and Hearst Newspapers, she covered Nixon in China and the Reagan assassination attempt and, well, just about everything else that had to do with 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and its occupants.
But Thomas's career came to an abrupt end in 2010 when she was videotaped making unflattering remarks about Israel at a White House party. "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine," she said on the tape, while speaking with a rabbi. "Remember, these people are occupied and it's their land. It's not Germany, it's not Poland." The famously opinionated reporter quit her job as a Hearst columnist shortly after the scandal.