White House Gallery
Sarah McClendon created the McClendon News Service in 1946 after being fired from the Philadelphia Daily News to make way for journalists returning from World War II. As a single mother, it was not unusual for her to take her daughter to press conferences on Capitol Hill and at the White House. McClendon soon became a staple at the presidential press conferences, and beginning with Harry S. Truman, gained a reputation for demanding answers to some of the most challenging questions that these towering political figures would face.
The images in this gallery depict McClendon's career as a White House correspondent and give a hint to her relationships with 11 different Presidents of the United States.
Helen Thomas, in her own memoir Front Row at the White House: My Life and Times (Scribner, 2000), wrote that "Sarah McClendon is an icon in the White House pressroom. Her questions have made presidents squirm and I'm sure she's also made their blood boil — but they always answer her. Furthermore, she puts them to shame and makes them act" (p. 383).