Stephan Lee
July 20, 2013 AT 03:41 PM EDT

Veteran White House journalist Helen Thomas died on Saturday after battling a long illness, the Associated Press reports. She began reporting on John F. Kennedy’s White House for United Press International in 1961 and built a reputation for her tenacious questioning over 10 presidencies. The end of her career was marked by controversy, when a video surfaced in 2010 of Thomas saying that Jews in Palestine should go home to “Poland, Germany … and America and everywhere else.”

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