In this photo taken Oct. 16, 2007, veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas smiles as she leaves the White House after attending a briefing. Thomas, a pioneer for women in journalism and an irrepressible White House correspondent, has died. She was 92. A friend said Thomas died at her apartment in Washington on Saturday morning. 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. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
Here are five things to know about Helen Thomas, the groundbreaking White House correspondent, who died Saturday at age 92:
1. SHE WAS AMONG THE FIRST WOMEN TO COVER HARD NEWS AT THE WHITE HOUSE
Her journalism career started in 1943, an era when female reporters were confined to stories about presidents' kids, wives, their teas and their hairdos.
2. HER BIG BREAK CAME IN PALM BEACH IN 1960
She was sent by UPI to cover the vacation of President-elect John Kennedy and his family.
3. THE BARRIER SHE BROKE THROUGH IN 1974
As United Press International's White House bureau chief, she became the first woman in that role for a wire service.
4. THE DAY SHE WAS SCOOPED BY A FIRST LADY
It was Pat Nixon who announced Thomas was engaged to Douglas Cornell, chief White House correspondent for the archrival Associated Press. They married in 1971.
5. THE COMMENT ABOUT ISRAEL THAT ENDED HER CAREER IN 2010
"Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine," she told a rabbi who was interviewing her. "Remember, these people are occupied and it's their land. It's not Germany, it's not Poland." She soon retired from her job as a Hearst columnist.
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