Reporter Helen Thomas covered 10 presidents and nearly 75 years of what she calls Washington's “kitchen sink” beat. The former dean, and doyenne, of the White House press corps, whose seniority allowed her to end presidential press conferences with “Thank you, Mr. President” until the George W. Bush administration rescinded that honor, is also the author of several books and was a newspaper columnist for Hearst Newspapers since stepping down as White House bureau chief for United Press International in 2000. Thomas retired on June 7, 2010.

Born in Winchester, Kentucky, on August 4, 1920, Thomas was the seventh of nine surviving children. Her father had immigrated to Kentucky in 1892 from a part of Syria now known as Lebanon, followed by her mother, as his ...

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