Long time White House correspondent Helen Thomas has died at the age of 92.

Helen Thomas (C) arrives at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner in 2010 ( Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)

Her death from a "long illness" was announced in an email to members of the Gridiron Club according to Politico.

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.

She covered 10 presidents for United Press International and late in her career asked the first question at presidential press conferences.

President Barack Obama calls the late White House correspondent Helen Thomas "a true pioneer" who broke down barriers "for generations of women in journalism." Obama says Thomas "never failed to keep presidents -- myself included -- on their toes."

He praised her for her "fierce belief" that democracy works best when "we ask tough questions and hold our leaders to account."

Her career as a reported ended in 2010 after comments she made about Israel were caught on tape.

The Gridiron Club is a prestigious organization for journalists based in Washington D.C. Thomas was the Club's first female president.



The Associated Press contributed to this report.