Women’s event to feature pioneer female journalist

“First Lady of the Press” Helen Thomas has reported on every president since John F. Kennedy, when she became the first to close a presidential news conference with “Thank you, Mr. President,” but on March 5 she will be at the podium, speaking at the Women’s History Month assembly. 

Thomas has reported on the White House for 46 years, breaking down many boundaries for women in journalism along the way. 

A reporter for the United Press International from 1943 until 2000, she currently writes a column for the Hearst News Service. 

She began covering the White House in 1961 and has traveled around the world covering every economic summit under presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton. She was the first woman officer of the National Press Club and of the White House Correspondents Association, later acting as its first female president in 1975-76. 
Thomas has made a number of other firsts for women as the first female member of the Gridiron Club in history and its first female president in 1993. 

Thomas has written four books about her experiences and the role of the press, most recently “Watchdogs of Democracy?”   about the changes in the world of journalism and “Thanks for the Memories, Mr. President.”

“I am sure she will not only tell stories of her contacts with these presidents but also give us a picture of her world as a journalist,” Gender Studies teacher Martha Wheelock said. 

“What makes her an extraordinary woman in history is that she broke down barriers for women reporters to go places and be an active part of the press corps, which previously did not allow or encourage women to be in the rooms where the news was heard firsthand.”

Thomas will meet with the Chronicle staff before and a reception will be held in Feldman-Horn Gallery after the assembly.