Helen Amelia Thomas (August 4, 1920 – July 20, 2013) was an American reporter and author best known for her longtime membership in the White House press corps. She covered the White House during the administrations of ten U.S. presidents—from the start of the Kennedy administration to the second year of the Obama administration. She is best known as the “dean of Washington D.C.” and popular for coining the phrase, “Thank you, Mr. President”.
Thomas 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 then served as a columnist for Hearst Newspapers from 2000 to 2010, writing on national affairs and the White House. Thomas was the first female officer of the National Press Club, the first female member and president of the White House Correspondents’ Association and the first female member of the Gridiron Club. She wrote six books; her last, with co-author Craig Crawford, was Listen Up, Mr. President: Everything You Always Wanted Your President to Know and Do (2009).
Thomas retired from Hearst Newspapers on June 7, 2010, following controversial comments she made about Jews, Israel, the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and her claims that “Congress, the White House, Hollywood and Wall Street are owned by Zionists”, that led to numerous allegations of antisemitism. She then served as an opinion columnist for the Falls Church News-Press until February 2012.