TODAY   |  July 21, 2013

Helen Thomas remembered as a ‘pioneer’

For more than half a century, Helen Thomas was the "first lady" of the White House press corps, and made her mark as “a pioneer woman in a man’s profession,” said NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

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>> helen thomas was a legend in this business and fellow journalists are remembering her fondly today. andrea mitchell has a look back at her life and her legacy.

>> what is our policy?

>> for more than half a century, she was the first lady of the white house press corps , covering ten presidents, making history herself, born of lebanese immigrant parents, she landed a job with united press international , pioneer woman in a man's profession, not afraid to ask tough questions.

>> closing press conferences with her trademark, thank you, mr. president.

>> i saw that kennedy was really in a bind, trying to answer questions. and he went on and on trying to find the answer. so then i got up and i said, thank you.

>> he said, thank you.

>> thank you, helen.

>> i had taken him off the hook.

>> she was named bureau chief.

>> first time in history that a woman has been selected for that high post. we congratulate you.

>> i know nancy upstairs would die, she's watching upstairs on television, if i didn't call on you in that pretty red dress .

>> your decision to go to war has caused the death of thousands of americans.

>> to assume i wanted war is flat wrong, helen, in all due respect.

>> no longer in daily criticism, she drew criticism for taking sides on the israeli/ palestinian conflict . by then she was already a legend.

>> what do you want to have said about you in your time covering the white house ?

>> that she asks good questions. that she asked why.

>> nbc news, andrea mitchell , washington.

>>> let's get to more news, including that very disturbing case in cleveland.