WASHINGTON — Helen Thomas, whose keen curiosity, unquenchable drive and celebrated constancy made her a trailblazing White House correspondent in a press corps dominated by men and later the dean of the White House briefing room, died Saturday at home in Washington. She was 92.Her death was announced by the Gridiron Club, one of Washington’s leading news societies. Ms. Thomas was a past president of that organization.Ms. Thomas covered every president from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama for United Press International and, later, Hearst Newspapers. To her colleagues, she was the unofficial but undisputed head of the press corps — her status ratified by her signature line at the end of every White House news conference, “Thank you, Mr. President.”...
Edward Hotaling, a television reporter whose question about racial progress ended the career of the CBS sports commentator Jimmy (the Greek) Snyder in 1988, but who may have made a more lasting mark by documenting the use of slave labor in building the nation’s Capitol, died on June 3 on Staten Island. He was 75.The cause was a heart attack, his son Greg said. He had lived in a nursing home since suffering serious injuries in an auto accident in 2007.Mr. Hotaling (pronounced HO-tail-ing) was a television reporter at the NBC affiliate WRC-TV in Washington when he interviewed Mr. Snyder on Jan. 15, 1988, for a report commemorating the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. Bumping into Mr. Snyder in a restaurant, Mr. Hotaling asked him to assess racial progress in professional sports.Mr. Snyder’s reply careered into his theory that blacks were better athletes than whites because their slave ancestors had been “bred to be that way” and that soon “there’s not going to be anything left for the white people” in sports. The comment created a national stir and got him fired by CBS. He died in 1996....
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