About Helen Thomas
Helen Thomas (August 4, 1920 – July 20, 2013) was an American author and former news service reporter, member of the White House press corps and opinion columnist. She worked for the United Press and post-1958 successor United Press International (UPI) for 57 years, first as a correspondent, and later as White House bureau manager. She was a columnist for Hearst Newspapers from 2000 to 2010, writing on national affairs and the White House. She covered the administrations of ten U.S. presidents—from the final years of the Eisenhower administration to the second year of the Obama administration.
Thomas was born in Winchester, Kentucky, the seventh of the ten children of George and Mary (Rowady) Thomas, immigrants from Tripoli, Lebanon. Thomas has said her father's surname, "Antonious," was anglicized to "Thomas" when he entered the U.S. at Ellis Island, and that her parents could neither read nor write. Thomas was raised mainly in Detroit, Michigan, where her family moved when she was four years old, and where her father ran a grocery store.