Helen Thomas left this world today.
“Helen was a true pioneer, opening doors and breaking down barriers for generations of women in journalism,” President Obama said in a statement on Saturday. “She never failed to keep presidents — myself included — on their toes.”
Helen was the first women to join the White House Correspondents’ Association, and the first woman to serve as its president. She became the first woman to be elected into the Gridiron Club, known only for male only members for over 90 years. She was one tough cookie and asked very frank and probing questions to get real answers to hard situations. Her style of diplomacy was to be the one in the room to defy smoke screens and half truths, commanding questions to get to the heart of the truth. Helen created a path for women as an exceptional reporter, working at United Press International and later Hearst News, covering presidents from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama.
While I was in Washington, DC working on the Kerry for President 2004 Campaign, Helen gave me some great advice. She was a mentor and a remarkable woman leader in the field of journalism and in the women’s movement. “Question authority, ask truth to power, and demand transparency.” I am filled with gratitude and thanks to have had time with her. Love and light.