Over the weekend of July 19th to the 21st, America lost one of its oldest and most respected journalists: Helen Thomas. Helen Thomas passed away on the 20th at the age of 92. Born in 1920, she lived through much of modern US history and had been a reporter for over 60 years.
The media covered her life throughout the years, and have taken lots of time to honor her after her death. Her story is quite amazing and she was a favorite of all of the White House correspondents. She was never afraid to speak her mind and could be a very aggressive reporter when she needed to be.
She was able to create a reputation around having some of the best access to White House administrations and the presidents who headed them. She said and reported a great deal in her long life. Here at NaQ we wanted to share some of her quotes and what others said about her with you:
Obama speaking on Helen Thomas’s death:
“Helen was a true pioneer, opening doors and breaking down barriers for generations of women in journalism. She covered every White House since President Kennedy’s, and during that time she never failed to keep presidents – myself included – on their toes.”
Forbes on Helen Thomas:
“She was famed in journalistic circles for her refusal to be awed by the power of the presidency, asking forthright — some would say rude — questions of the sort commanders of chief are seldom called upon to answer.”
Now for a few quotes from Helen Thomas herself:
“I respect the office of the presidency but I never worship at the shrines of our public servants. They owe us the truth.”
“We in the press have a special role since there is no other institution in our society that can hold the President accountable. I do believe that our democracy can endure and prevail only if the American people are informed.”
“I just want the questions to be asked. It doesn’t matter whether I ask them. No leader should get off the hook when they take people to war.”
And lastly, Helen Thomas’s famous closing words for decades: “Thank you, Mister President.”
Hopefully that gives you an idea of the kind of woman and reporter that Helen Thomas was. The press lost one of its finest.