Helen Thomas

Political Columnist, Hearst Newspapers
September 1, 1999 - 12:30pm
Conversation with Helen Thomas

About Helen Thomas

After graduating from Wayne University, Helen Thomas began work at the United Press International (UPI) in 1943 where she was hired to write stories of interest to women. She started political reporting in 1961, and became the UPI’s White House Correspondent in 1970. She was the first female to be named a White House correspondent in 1970. In 1972 Helen Thomas was the only print journalist to go with President Richard Nixon to China. She covered every presidential economic summit from Presidents Ford through George H.W. Bush.

Thomas was the first woman officer of the National Press Club, the White House Correspondents Association, and the first woman member of the Gridiron Club. Easily noticeable in her red outfit and through her coining of the phrase “Thank you, Mr. President” to end presidential press conferences, Thomas became known as the “dean of the Washington Press Corps.” She has written “Dateline: White House” and “Front Row at the White House: My Life and Times.” Thomas left UPI in 2000. She is now a political columnist for Hearst Newspapers.