Zoey Tur

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Zoey Tur
Zoey Tur Inside Edition.jpg
Zoey Tur-2015
Born Robert Albert Tur
(1960-06-08) June 8, 1960 (age 54)
Los Angeles County, California, United States
Other names Bob Tur, Hanna Tur, Hanna Zoey Tur
Occupation Reporter, journalist
Spouse(s) Marika Gerrard (1980–2003)
Children Katy Tur
James Tur

Hanna Zoey Tur,[1] known professionally by the name Zoey Tur (born Robert Albert "Bob" Tur, June 8, 1960), is an American broadcast reporter best known for designing and building one of the first modern news helicopters used for live news reporting.[2][3] As a broadcast reporter, and eventual 10,000 hour commercial pilot,[4] Tur created the Los Angeles News Service with fellow reporter, and former wife, Marika Gerrard. Their news service was the first to use an AStar helicopter in a major city for the coverage of live breaking news,[3] and the first to televise a high-speed police chase.[5] Other noteworthy reporting included the attack on Reginald Denny during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.[6] Tur was also the first to locate and televise O. J. Simpson's infamous slow-speed chase in 1994.[7]

As a team, Tur and ex-wife Marika Gerrard received three Television News Emmy Awards;[8] two Edward R. Murrow Awards[9] for broadcast excellence (for her reporting on the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and a feature on American Jews leaving their homes for Israel at a time of war); an Associated Press National Breaking News award; The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Humanitarian Award;[10] several Golden Mikes; and numerous other local and national citations.[citation needed]

Early life and education[edit]

Tur dropped out of community college at age 18 in 1978.[11]


In 1988, Tur was credited by the Los Angeles Times with saving the lives of 54 people during a freak southern California storm in January of '88.[12] Tur piloted a AS-350B Eurocopter helicopter through 60 knot winds, at night, to airlift stranded tourists from 22 foot seas that pounded apart their hotel, the Portofino Inn. Timing the interval of the waves, Tur and Byron Alperstein, the camera operator, made a dozen near zero visibility takeoffs and landings without losing a single victim. Both Tur and Alperstein received numerous awards for their heroism.[citation needed]

In 1991, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revoked Tur's pilot's license for "reckless flying" after a complaint from the Los Angeles City Fire Department.[5] In 1995, a California Superior Court found against the Los Angeles Fire Department for suborning perjury in the original FAA action, awarding $550,000 and ruling "public employees are not immune from liability for malicious prosecution if they instigate the prosecution through fraudulent, corrupt or malicious misrepresentations".[13][14] Tur's commercial pilot's license was restored.[citation needed]

Tur has been credited with locating seven missing aircraft.[5]

In December 1996, she appeared in a two-part episode of the ITV documentary Police Camera Action! with Alastair Stewart called The Man Who Shot OJ.[citation needed]

In August 2006, Tur was cited by Israeli medics for saving the life of an IDF soldier during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict[15]During a Katyusha rocket attack, Tur's television news crew found a 19 year-old soldier trapped in his crushed automobile. With the soldier unconscious, and not breathing, Tur, who had been shooting a documentary for an American satellite news operation, performed an emergency tracheotomy, intubating the man and restoring his breathing. The rescue, which was caught on tape by another reporter, aired as part of a news package dealing with life on the Israeli-Lebanon border.[citation needed]

In 2007, Tur hosted a documentary series on MSNBC called Why They Run.[16] The show reported on why criminal suspects ran from police, and included interviews with those actually involved in the country's most notorious police pursuits.

In the months following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (April 2010) by BP, Tur conducted studies to locate the submerged oil that threaten the sealife swimming through hydrocarbon plumes deep below the Gulf. Tur tracked up to 1,400 square miles (3,600 km2) a day for the Mississippi Canyon 252/Deepwater Horizon (MS252) toxins, results confirmed by Ken Lukins, BP's consulting director of their High Interest Technology Test (HITT) Team, but despite the results that could keep neurotoxin dosed fish, and crabs from those that consume Gulf seafood, BP was unwilling to green light Tur's helicopter-based sensor program.[citation needed][17][not in citation given][unreliable source?]

In February 2015, Tur was hired by Inside Edition to appear on three episodes only, becoming the first openly transgender television reporter on American television.[18][19][20] In February and March 2015, Tur appeared on CNN, TMZ, and on Dr. Drew On Call on HLN.[21]


Tur's public statements about trans women, the legitimacy of trans men, gender stereotypes, the sexuality of trans people, and her saying that a trans woman using the women's locker room at a Michigan Planet Fitness was a dangerous predator who was really going to the bathroom to "perv out on women" (on the television show Dr. Drew On Call in March 2015) have been widely criticized by advocates of transgender people and transgender rights, including Dana Beyer of Gender Rights Maryland, Shannon Minter of The National Center for Lesbian Rights, trans journalist Parker Marie Molloy, and trans blogger Mya Adriene Byrne.[22][23][24][25] In the summer of 2013, Tur made a controversial remark during a TMZ video chat: "[Tur] doesn't believe women can make the same quick, decisive decisions like men when piloting an aircraft."[26]

Personal life[edit]

Tur's 23-year marriage to Marika Gerrard came to an end in 2003. The couple had two children: Katy (born in 1983),[27] an Emmy Award-winning news reporter, and James (born 1985),[28] a medical student.[29]

In 2014, Tur revealed that she was undergoing hormone replacement therapy.[30]

Tur dated actress Carrie Fisher.[31]


  1. ^ http://www.tmz.com/2014/08/05/zoey-tur-sex-change-name-gender-reassignment-surgery/
  2. ^ Date of birth found on the California Birth Index 1905-1995 under TUR, ROBERT A, on June 8, 1960, in Los Angeles County.
  3. ^ a b New Yorker Magazine-August 1, 1994.
  4. ^ FAA pilot records.
  5. ^ a b c Jerome, Richard; Young, Stanley (September 12, 1994), "Chopper Newshounds Bob and Marika Tur are L.A.'s Prying Eyes in the Sky", People, retrieved October 1, 2009 
  6. ^ "YouTube Hit With Copyright Suit". NY Times. July 19, 2006. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  7. ^ CBS News, 60 Minutes-The Man That Shot O.J.
  8. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (June 7, 1993). Variety and Daily Variety Television Reviews, 1993-1994. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  9. ^ KCBS News Radio-San Francisco-Loma Prieta Earthquake-October 17, 1989.
  11. ^ Richard Jerome (September 12, 1994). "Hot Shots". People. Retrieved March 19, 2015. When they met in 1978, Bob was an 18-year-old college dropout employed as a part-time wire service reporter and photographer... 
  12. ^ "Gathering More Than News" Editorial Section-January 20, 1988.
  13. ^ Superior Court of California No. BC075051. Hon. Victor E. Chavez.
  14. ^ "Reporter wins malicious prosecution suit; jury awards $550,000". Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. September 20, 1994. Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  15. ^ HDNews (VOOM), News 12-Long Island.
  16. ^ Ariens, Chris (September 4, 2007). "MSNBC Ramps Up Doc Production". Media Bistro. Retrieved October 18, 2013. 
  17. ^ "BP Oil Spill Aftermath". Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  18. ^ Mitch Kellaway (March 23, 2015). "Trans Reporter Zoey Tur in Hot Water Over Remarks on Trans Bodies, Rights". The Advocate. Retrieved March 23, 2015. This week, Inside Edition confirmed to The Advocate that the show has ended its relationship with Tur, but claimed the decision was not influenced by the increasing outcry about Tur's public comments. "It was just a part-time assignment, for February sweeps," co-executive producer Esther Pressin stated. "She did three stories for us, and we're done." 
  19. ^ Rothaussrothaus, Steve (2015-01-29). "Transgender TV news reporter Zoey Tur, formerly Chopper Bob, joins ‘Inside Edition’ | The Miami Herald The Miami Herald". Miamiherald.com. Retrieved 2015-02-03. 
  20. ^ "Is transgender community ready for close-up?". Usatoday.com. 2015-01-31. Retrieved 2015-02-06. 
  21. ^ Mitch Kellaway (March 23, 2015). "Trans Reporter Zoey Tur in Hot Water Over Remarks on Trans Bodies, Rights". The Advocate. Retrieved March 23, 2015. In the weeks since she landed the role, she's been invited to speak on hot-button trans news stories – including Planet Fitness cancelling a woman's membership after she repeatedly complained about a trans woman and speculation on Bruce Jenner's gender identity – for several news programs, including shows on CNN, TMZ, and HLN. 
  22. ^ Mitch Kellaway (March 23, 2015). "Trans Reporter Zoey Tur in Hot Water Over Remarks on Trans Bodies, Rights". The Advocate. Retrieved March 23, 2015. 
  23. ^ Zack Ford (March 20, 2015). "An Imperfect Spokesperson: The Transgender Backlash Against Zoey Tur". ThinkProgress. Retrieved March 23, 2015. 
  24. ^ Dana Beyer (March 12, 2015). "Locker Room Frenzy Returns: Planet Fitness, Zoey Tur and the Politics of False Movement Messiahs". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 23, 2015. 
  25. ^ Lorraine Ali (March 31, 2015). "FOR ZOEY TUR, A NEW LIFE AS TRANSGENDER WOMAN TAKES FLIGHT". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  26. ^ TMZ Staff (June 12, 2013). "Bob Tur Famed Chopper Pilot To Become a Woman". TMZ. Retrieved March 23, 2014. 
  27. ^ Date of birth found on the California Birth Index 1905-1995 under TUR, KATHARINE BEAR, on October 26, 1983, in Los Angeles County.
  28. ^ Date of birth found on the California Birth Index 1905-1995 under TUR, JAMES BEAR, on November 19, 1985, in Los Angeles County.
  29. ^ Lorraine Ali (March 31, 2015). "FOR ZOEY TUR, A NEW LIFE AS TRANSGENDER WOMAN TAKES FLIGHT". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  30. ^ O.J. Chopper Pilot Completes Sexual Reassignment
  31. ^ http://www.lamag.com/longform/becoming-zoey-tur/2/

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