Lawyers Club presented its inaugural Icon Award in 2008 to Helen Thomas.
Often called "The First Lady of the
Press,” Helen Thomas (1920-2013) was a trailblazer, breaking barriers for women reporters
while covering every President of the United States from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama. For 57 years, Thomas served as White House correspondent for United Press International. It
was during her years covering Kennedy that Thomas began closing presidential
press conferences with the tagline "Thank you, Mr. President,” the first woman
to do so. Thomas had a lengthy list of "firsts.” Thomas traveled around the world
several times with Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton,
and covered every economic summit. In 1972, she was the only newspaperwoman to
travel with President Nixon on his breakthrough trip to China. She was the first woman officer of the National Press Club, after it opened its
doors to women members for the first time in 90 years, and the first woman
officer of the White House Correspondents Association in its then-50 years of
existence, and served as its first woman president in 1975-1976. Thomas became
the first woman member in its history of the Gridiron Club, and the first woman
to be elected its President.