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Bob Thomas, whose career as a journalist covering Hollywood stretched from Clark Gable to Tom Cruise, has died. The Associated Press veteran was 92-years-old.
His daughter, Janet Thomas, told The Associated Press that Thomas died of an age-related illness at his Encino, Calif. home.
Thomas began covering Hollywood at the height of the Golden Age, in 1944. At the time, the business was still a tight-nit, centralized community. For seven decades, he wrote movie reviews, obituaries, retrospective pieces and interviews for the AP.
He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for covering the most consecutive Academy Awards and longest career as an entertainment journalist. According to the Los Angeles Times, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1988.
“I began working at a time that has been called the 'era of wonderful nonsense,'” Thomas told the Times in a 1999 interview. “One of my first stories was taking a tape measure out to the studio and measuring Bette Davis, who was supposed to have a perfect figure, after she returned to work from having a baby.”
However, the biggest story of Thomas’ career was a tragedy that had nothing to do with Hollywood. He was covering Sen. Robert F. Kennedy the night he won the 1968 California primary and saw Kennedy shot and killed that night.
“I rushed into the kitchen where men were screaming and women sobbing," he said about that night. "I jumped onto a pile of kitchen trays and saw Kennedy lying on the floor, his head bloody."
Thomas is survived by Patricia, his wife of 67 years, and theirt three daughters and three grandchildren.