1999 – Washington, DC
Helen Thomas was born in Winchester, Kentucky, reared in Detroit, Michigan and graduated from Wayne State University. After college Thomas served as a copy girl on the now defunct Washington Daily News and joined United Press International in 1943. For 12 years Ms.Thomas wrote radio news for U.P.I. She later had several beats around the federal government, before she began covering President-elect John F. Kennedy in 1960. Ms. Thomas went to The White House in January 1961 as a member of the UPI team and has been there ever since. Ms. Thomas served as President of the Women’s National Press Club in 1959-60, and she was the first woman officer of the National Press Club. In addition, she became the first woman officer of The White House Correspondents Association, serving as President in 1975-76. Ms. Thomas also became the first woman member of the Gridiron Club in its history, and the first woman to be elected President (1993). In November 1976, the World Almanac named Helen Thomas as one of the twenty-five most influential women in America today. Ms. Thomas has received numerous honorary doctorate degrees, has been a commencement speaker at many colleges and has delivered lectures on The White House and the Presidency throughout the country. In 1971, Helen Thomas married Douglas Cornell, Associated Press’ White House correspondent, now deceased. Helen Thomas has covered Watergate, Iran-Contra and Whitewater, as well as every other aspect of The White House and the Presidency since that of JFK. She is the author of the book “Dateline: White House”, and her current memoir, “Front rowat The White House”, was published by Scribner in May, 1999.