A friend, Muriel Dobbin, says Thomas died at her apartment in Washington on Saturday morning. Dobbin says Thomas has been ill for a long time, had been in and out of the hospital, and had come home Thursday.
Thomas made her name as a bulldog for United Press International in the great wire-service rivalries of old. She used her seat in the front row of history to grill nine presidents - often to their discomfort and was not shy about sharing her opinions.
She was persistent to the point of badgering; one White House press secretary described her questioning as "torture" - and he was one of her fans.