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Helen Thomas to give Women's Leadership Lecture

'First Lady of the Press' to speak March 14

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Helen Thomas, the former White House bureau chief often referred to as "The First Lady of the Press," will be the speaker at the 2006 Emily Taylor and Marilyn Stokstad Women's Leadership Lecture this month.

Thomas will deliver her lecture, "Covering the White House from Kennedy to Bush," at 7:30 p.m. March 14 in Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union. A reception and book signing will follow. The event, sponsored by the Hall Center for the Humanities, is free and open to the public.

Thomas, a Hearst Newspaper columnist, served for 57 years as a correspondent for United Press International and, as White House bureau chief, covered every president since John Kennedy. During the Kennedy years, she became known for closing presidential press conferences with the tagline "Thank you, Mr. President."

Thomas was the first woman officer of the National Press Club, the first woman member and president of the White House Correspondents Association and the first woman member of the Gridiron Club. In 1998, she received the International Women's Media Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and was honored by Bill and Hillary Clinton as the first recipient of the Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award. Her latest book is Thanks for the Memories, Mr. President: Wit and Wisdom from the Front Row at the White House.

The Women's Leadership Lecture is named for women who were prominent leaders at KU. The fund they established supports lectures by prominent women on women's leadership issues. Contributions to the fund can be made through KU Endowment.