Thornburgh RichardTingle JimmyToliver KayTrillin CalvinTrout JackTrozzi Maria
was born in Winchester, Kentucky and brought up in Detroit, Michigan, where she
attended public school and later graduated from Wayne State University.Upon leaving college she
served as a copy girl on the old, now defunct, Washington Daily News.In 1943 Thomas
joined UPI and the Washington Press Corps.
For twelve years, Thomas
wrote radio news for UPI, starting each work day at 5 : 30am . Eventually she
covered the news of the federal government, including Justice, the FBI, HEW and Capitol Hill.Thomas
served as President of the Women's National Press Club (now merged with the National Press Club) from 1959-1960, and then went on the become the first woman officer of the National Press Club after it opened its doors to women members following a 90-year span of all-male membership.
In 1968 Thomas
was named Newspaper Woman of Washington by the American Newspaper Woman's Club.After fifty years of existence, she
was the first female officer of the White House Correspondents.From 1976-1976 she
became its first female president.In September 1971, Pat Nixon scooped Thomas
by announcing her
engagement to AP's retiring White House correspondent, Douglas B. Cornell at a White House party hosted by President Nixon in honor of Cornell.They were married shortly thereafter.Cornell is now deceased.Thomas
was the first woman print journalist to travel with the President, accompanying President Nixon to China during his
groundbreaking trip in January 1972.Since then she
has been to China with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Presidents Ford, Reagan, and Bush, covering every economic summit.
In 1975 Thomas
became the first woman member of the Gridiron Club, a 90-year old institution.In 1976 she
was named one of the most influential women in America by the World Almanac.In addition to being awarded over twenty-two honorary degrees ; including Brown University, Northeastern University, George Washington University, Skidmore College, Russell Sage Colleges, Wayne State University, and Michigan State University, the University of Missouri awarded her
an Honorary Doctorate and a Journalism Award.Thomas
has also been a commencement speaker at many colleges and universities.Thomas
has delivered lectures and speeches on the White House and the Presidency throughout the country.She
has also served as a panelist and speaker at a number of Presidential Library seminars.Thomas
is the author of Dateline White House.
Over the years Thomas
has been awarded many awards for her
journalism, including the Ohio University Journalism Award, Columbia University Journalism Award, National Press Club-Four Estate Award, Bob Considine Award, National Federation of Press Women Award, University of Texas Journalism Award, Michigan State University Journalism Hall of Fame Award, University of Arizona Journalism Award, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication Award, and many others from schools, colleges and universities.In 1993 Thomas
served as the President of the Gridiron Club.In 1998 she
was the first recipient of the Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award presented by President and Mrs. Clinton.