Although President Obama declared himself “saddened” by the death of legendary White House reporter Helen Thomas, Thomas sharply criticized Obama’s control of the media shortly after he took office.
Thomas died Saturday at the age of 92, leaving behind a well-respected body of work and a legacy as one of America’s most dogged and, in later years, controversial political journalists.
Thomas, known as the “Dean of the White House Press Corps,” worked for United Press International (UPI) beginning in 1943 and wrote a syndicated column for Hearst Newspapers later in her life. Thomas became White House correspondent for UPI in 1961 and instantly became linked in the public imagination with President John F. Kennedy’s widely-viewed and oftentimes lighthearted televised press conferences. Thomas coined the term “Thank you, Mr. President,” which she said at the end of Kennedy’s press conferences, and which became indelibly linked to the Kennedy administration.