Pioneering journalist Helen Thomas dies at 92 - New York News

Pioneering journalist Helen Thomas dies at 92

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President Barack Obama presents cupcakes to Hearst White House columnist Helen Thomas in honor of her birthday in the James Brady Briefing Room, on Aug. 4, 2009. White House (Pete Souza) President Barack Obama presents cupcakes to Hearst White House columnist Helen Thomas in honor of her birthday in the James Brady Briefing Room, on Aug. 4, 2009. White House (Pete Souza)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Helen Thomas, a pioneer for women in journalism and an irrepressible White House correspondent, has died. She was 92.

A friend, Muriel Dobbin, says Thomas died at her apartment in Washington on Saturday morning. Dobbin says Thomas has been ill for a long time, had been in and out of the hospital, and had come home Thursday.

Thomas made her name as a bulldog for United Press International in the great wire-service rivalries of old. She used her seat in the front row of history to grill nine presidents - often to their discomfort and was not shy about sharing her opinions.

She was persistent to the point of badgering; one White House press secretary described her questioning as "torture" - and he was one of her fans.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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