Zoey Tur

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Zoey Tur
Zoey Tur Inside Edition (cropped).jpg
Tur in 2015
Born (1960-06-08) June 8, 1960 (age 62)
Occupation(s)Reporter, journalist
Marika Gerrard
(m. 1980; div. 2003)
ChildrenTwo, including Katy Tur

Hanna Zoey Tur (formerly Robert Albert Tur; born June 8, 1960) is an American broadcast reporter[1] and commercial pilot who created Los Angeles News Service with fellow reporter and then-wife Marika Gerrard.

Early life and education

Born to a Jewish family,[2][3] Tur dropped out of college at age 18 in 1978.[4]


Los Angeles News Service was the first to use an AStar helicopter in a major city to cover breaking news,[1] and the first to televise a high-speed police chase.[5] Tur's other noteworthy reporting included the attack on Reginald Denny during the 1992 Los Angeles riots and finding the crash site of Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771.[6] Tur was also the first to broadcast O. J. Simpson's slow-speed chase on June 17, 1994.[7][8]

On March 25, 1989 Tur used a helicopter to locate a camper in desperate need of a Kidney transplant. This incident was reenacted on the television program Rescue 911.

As a team, Tur and Gerrard received three Television News Emmy Awards[9] and Edward R. Murrow Awards[10] for broadcast excellence, an Associated Press National Breaking News award; and The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Humanitarian Award.[11]

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 1994, a California Superior Court ruled against the Los Angeles Fire Department for suborning perjury in the original FAA action, awarding $550,000 and ruling that "public employees are not immune from liability for malicious prosecution if they instigate the prosecution through fraudulent, corrupt or malicious misrepresentations".[12][13]

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

In 2007, Tur hosted a documentary series on MSNBC called Why They Run.[14] The show reported on why criminal suspects ran from police, and included interviews with those involved in police pursuits.

In 2015, Tur appeared in three episodes of Inside Edition[15][16][17] on CNN, on TMZ, and on Dr. Drew On Call.[18]

In 2016, Tur appeared in several episodes of the miniseries O.J.: Made In America. The series features archival footage as well as Tur's recollections of covering the 1992 Los Angeles riots in episode 2 and of the June 17, 1994 police chase of O. J. Simpson.

Personal life

Zoey Tur at Beach

Tur's 23-year marriage to Marika Gerrard came to an end in 2003. The couple had two children: Katy, a television news reporter and anchor, and James, who is a physician.[19]

In June 2013, Tur publicly came out as transgender,[20] and in 2014 revealed that she was undergoing hormone replacement therapy.[21] In August 2014, following gender reassignment surgery, she applied to a court to change her name and gender marker from male to female.[22] Reflecting on her transition in a 2017 interview, Tur stated, "What I have is not political. It's a medical condition that was treated. I'm cured. I'm done. It's not a mental illness. There are differences in the brain."[23]

In 2017, Tur said in an interview that her daughter Katy had become estranged from her because of the transition. Katy said in response that they "were not on speaking terms for a little while" but that it was not because of the transition.[24]

Tur is a principal subject of Katy Tur's 2022 memoir, Rough Draft. It depicts life for the younger Tur in her childhood that saw the highs of adventure with her parents but also lows that related to violence that made for a shaky childhood upbringing that she equated to "living on the edge of a knife", specifically from her father. The 2013 call involving the elder Tur's transition was part of the estrangement, with Katy stating, "My dad, in going through the transition wanted to bury Bob Tur … have that personality be erased. But Bob Tur was so much a part of my life that I felt if we wanted to move on and become something new, we’d have to confront it.” [25][26]

Views on transgender rights

During a TMZ video chat in the summer of 2013, Tur described her understanding of one practical impact of the changes in her brain over the course of her hormone replacement therapy in piloting terms. Tur stated, "...you start thinking with white matter as opposed to men thinking with gray matter, so, where I was able to make split decisions flying and being in really rough conditions, weather conditions, I don't know if I'd be as good a pilot, because now I'm using white matter, and I'm becoming, really... That bridges the left and right brains, and you become [a] consensus builder, you start becoming more analytical, not as impulsive as you are when you're a guy." In their editorial comments, TMZ interpreted her words as meaning that she "doesn't believe women can make the same quick, decisive decisions like men when piloting an aircraft."[27]

Tur’s critics[why?] have included 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.[18][28][29][19]

In July 2015, while on Dr. Drew On Call talking about Caitlyn Jenner accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards ceremony, political commentator Ben Shapiro questioned her genetics and called Tur "sir", to which Tur responded by grabbing the back of Shapiro's neck and telling him to stop or he would "be going home in an ambulance."[30] Shapiro filed a police report charging Tur with battery regarding the incident and said that he intended to press charges. Shapiro said he did so to teach the left a lesson. Tur said the report was Shapiro's attempt to keep the story in the news.[31]


  1. ^ a b New Yorker Magazine-August 1, 1994.
  2. ^ Solomon, Daniel J. (December 12, 2016). "Meet the Jewish Transgender Reporter Ben Shapiro Mocked at Yeshiva U." Jewish Daily Forward. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018.
  3. ^ Abramovitch, Seth (July 1, 2016). "The World According to Zoey Tur: An Interview With the Breakout Star of 'O.J.: Made in America'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. Retrieved November 1, 2018. Is the family Jewish? We're Jewish in culture, but not really observant.
  4. ^ Richard Jerome (September 12, 1994). "Hot Shots". People. Archived from the original on June 4, 2009. Retrieved March 19, 2015. When they met in 1978, Tur was an 18-year-old college dropout employed as a part-time wire service reporter and photographer...
  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, archived from the original on June 4, 2009, retrieved October 1, 2009
  6. ^ "YouTube Hit With Copyright Suit". NY Times. July 19, 2006. Archived from the original on February 3, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  7. ^ CBS News, 60 Minutes-The Man That Shot O.J.
  8. ^ Winton, Richard (June 17, 2019). "TV news chopper spotted O.J. Simpson's white Bronco, and the chase was on". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on June 17, 2019. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  9. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (June 7, 1993). Variety and Daily Variety Television Reviews, 1993-1994. ISBN 9780824037970. Archived from the original on December 31, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  10. ^ KCBS News Radio-San Francisco-Loma Prieta Earthquake-October 17, 1989.
  11. ^ "National Press Photographers Association Humanitarian Award". National Press Photographers Association. September 23, 2012. Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  12. ^ "Reporter wins malicious prosecution suit; jury awards $550,000". Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. September 20, 1994. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  13. ^ Superior Court of California No. BC075051. Hon. Victor E. Chavez.
  14. ^ Ariens, Chris (September 4, 2007). "MSNBC Ramps Up Doc Production". Media Bistro. Archived from the original on October 21, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  15. ^ Mitch Kellaway (March 23, 2015). "Trans Reporter Zoey Tur in Hot Water Over Remarks on Trans Bodies, Rights". The Advocate. Archived from the original on March 24, 2015. 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."
  16. ^ Rothaussrothaus, Steve (January 29, 2015). "Transgender TV news reporter Zoey Tur, formerly Chopper Bob, joins 'Inside Edition'". The Miami Herald. Miamiherald.com. Archived from the original on February 3, 2015. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  17. ^ "Is transgender community ready for close-up?". Usatoday.com. January 31, 2015. Archived from the original on February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
  18. ^ a b Mitch Kellaway (March 23, 2015). "Trans Reporter Zoey Tur in Hot Water Over Remarks on Trans Bodies, Rights". The Advocate. Archived from the original on March 24, 2015. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  19. ^ a b Lorraine Ali (March 31, 2015). "FOR ZOEY TUR, A NEW LIFE AS TRANSGENDER WOMAN TAKES FLIGHT". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  20. ^ Goldstein, Sasha (June 19, 2014). "Rival chopper pilots who covered O. J. Simpson chase now are transgender women". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on June 25, 2016. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  21. ^ "O.J. Chopper Pilot -- Completes Sexual Reassignment". www.tmz.com. Archived from the original on June 15, 2015. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  22. ^ "Zoey Tur Sex Change -- Final Detail in Male-To-Female Change". www.tmz.com. Archived from the original on June 27, 2015. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  23. ^ Sidner, Sara (July 21, 2017). "Two helicopter pilots share O.J. Simpson chase -- and gender reassignment". CNN. Archived from the original on July 22, 2017. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  24. ^ Torregrosa, Luisita Lopez (June 10, 2017). "'You Can't Rattle Her': Katy Tur on the Rise". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 28, 2019. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  25. ^ Coles, Joanna (June 14, 2022). "From a Childhood in News Choppers to the Anchor's Seat". New York Times. Retrieved June 15, 2022.
  26. ^ "How Katy Tur's toxic relationship with parent Zoey Tur prepared her to take on Trump". MSNBC.
  27. ^ TMZ Staff (June 12, 2013). "Bob Tur Famed Chopper Pilot To Become a Woman". TMZ. Archived from the original on March 14, 2014. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  28. ^ Zack Ford (March 20, 2015). "An Imperfect Spokesperson: The Transgender Backlash Against Zoey Tur". ThinkProgress. Archived from the original on March 22, 2015. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  29. ^ Dana Beyer (March 12, 2015). "Locker Room Frenzy Returns: Planet Fitness, Zoey Tur and the Politics of False Movement Messiahs". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on March 21, 2015. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  30. ^ Tim Hains (July 17, 2015). "Inside Edition's Zoe Tur Threatens To Send Breitbart's Ben Shapiro "Home In An Ambulance" Over Jenner Debate". Real Clear Politics. Archived from the original on December 27, 2019. Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  31. ^ Walker, Lauren (July 21, 2015). "Editor Ben Shapiro Files Police Report Against Transgender Reporter After Heated TV Exchange". Newsweek. Archived from the original on January 17, 2017. Retrieved December 21, 2016.

External links