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Longtime White House reporter Thomas, 92, dies

Published: Monday, July 22, 2013 1:15 a.m. CST
Helen Thomas listens as White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs answers her question during his daily press briefing in Washington on Feb. 25, 2009. Thomas, the irrepressible White House correspondent who used her center, front row seat to grill 10 presidents, died Saturday; she was 92.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Covering 10 presidents over five decades, Helen Thomas aged into a legend. She was the only reporter with her name inscribed on a chair in the White House briefing room – her own front row seat to history.

Starting as a copy girl in 1943, when women were considered unfit for serious reporting, Thomas rose to bureau chief.

Thomas, 92, died surrounded by family and friends at her Washington apartment on Saturday, the family said in a statement.

A friend, Muriel Dobbin, told The Associated Press that Thomas had been ill for a long time, and in and out of the hospital before coming home Thursday.

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