Zoey Tur

Hanna Zoey Tur[1] (born Robert Albert Tur /tʊər/; June 8, 1960) is an American broadcast reporter[2] and commercial pilot who created Los Angeles News Service with fellow reporter and then-wife Marika Gerrard. Los Angeles News Service was the first to use an AStar helicopter in a major city to cover breaking news,[2] and the first to televise a high-speed police chase.[3] 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.[4] Tur was also the first to broadcast O.J. Simpson's slow-speed chase on June 17, 1994.[5][6]

Zoey Tur
Zoey Tur Inside Edition.jpg
Tur in 2015
Robert Albert Tur

(1960-06-08) June 8, 1960 (age 59)
Other namesBob Tur
OccupationReporter, journalist
Spouse(s)Marika Gerrard (1980–2003)
ChildrenTwo, including Katy Tur

As a team, Tur and Gerrard received three Television News Emmy Awards[7] and Edward R. Murrow Awards[8] for broadcast excellence, an Associated Press National Breaking News award; and The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Humanitarian Award.[9]

Early life and educationEdit

Born to a Jewish family,[10][11] Tur dropped out of college at age 18 in 1978.[12]


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.[3] 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".[13][14]

Tur has been credited with locating seven missing aircraft.[3] In February 1996, Tur broadcast the San Diego County Transit System bus hijacking. In December 1996, Tur appeared in a two-part episode of the ITV documentary Police Camera Action! with Alastair Stewart called The Man Who Shot OJ.

In August 2006, Tur was cited by Israeli medics for saving the life of an IDF soldier during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.[15]

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 February 2015, Tur was hired by Inside Edition to appear on three episodes.[17][18][19] In February and March 2015, Tur appeared on CNN, on TMZ, and on Dr. Drew On Call on HLN.[20]

In 2016, Tur appeared in several episodes of the 30 for 30 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 in the O.J. Simpson murder case in episode 3.

Personal lifeEdit

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 news reporter, and James, a medical student.[21]

In June 2013, Tur publicly came out as transgender,[22] and in 2014 revealed that she was undergoing hormone replacement therapy.[23] In August 2014, following gender reassignment surgery, she applied to a court to change her name and gender marker from male to female.[1] 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."[24]

In 2017, Tur said in an interview that her daughter Katy had become estranged from her because of Tur's transition. Katy said in response that they "were not on speaking terms for a little while" but that it wasn't because of the transition.[25]

Views on transgender rightsEdit

Tur’s critics 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.[26][27][28][21] 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."[29]

In July 2015, while on Dr. Drew On Call talking about Caitlyn Jenner accepting the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY Awards ceremony, attorney and former Breitbart editor-at-large 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 stay in the news.[31]


  1. ^ a b "Zoey Tur Sex Change -- Final Detail in Male-To-Female Change". www.tmz.com. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  2. ^ a b New Yorker Magazine-August 1, 1994.
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ "YouTube Hit With Copyright Suit". NY Times. July 19, 2006. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
  5. ^ CBS News, 60 Minutes-The Man That Shot O.J.
  6. ^ Winton, Richard (June 17, 2019). "TV news chopper spotted O.J. Simpson's white Bronco, and the chase was on". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  7. ^ Gerard, Jeremy (June 7, 1993). Variety and Daily Variety Television Reviews, 1993-1994. ISBN 9780824037970. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  8. ^ KCBS News Radio-San Francisco-Loma Prieta Earthquake-October 17, 1989.
  9. ^ "National Press Photographers Association Humanitarian Award". National Press Photographers Association. September 23, 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
  10. ^ Solomon, Daniel J. (December 12, 2016). "Meet the Jewish Transgender Reporter Ben Shapiro Mocked at Yeshiva U." Jewish Daily Forward.
  11. ^ Abramovitch, Seth (July 1, 2016). "The World According to Zoey Tur: An Interview With the Breakout Star of 'O.J.: Made in America'". Hollywood Reporter. Is the family Jewish? We're Jewish in culture, but not really observant.
  12. ^ Richard Jerome (September 12, 1994). "Hot Shots". People. 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...
  13. ^ "Reporter wins malicious prosecution suit; jury awards $550,000". Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. September 20, 1994. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  14. ^ Superior Court of California No. BC075051. Hon. Victor E. Chavez.
  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. ^ 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."
  18. ^ Rothaussrothaus, Steve (January 29, 2015). "Transgender TV news reporter Zoey Tur, formerly Chopper Bob, joins 'Inside Edition'". The Miami Herald. Miamiherald.com. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
  19. ^ "Is transgender community ready for close-up?". Usatoday.com. January 31, 2015. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
  20. ^ Mitch Kellaway (March 23, 2015). "Trans Reporter Zoey Tur in Hot Water Over Remarks on Trans Bodies, Rights". The Advocate. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  21. ^ a b Lorraine Ali (March 31, 2015). "FOR ZOEY TUR, A NEW LIFE AS TRANSGENDER WOMAN TAKES FLIGHT". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  22. ^ Goldstein, Sasha (June 19, 2014). "Rival chopper pilots who covered O.J. Simpson chase now are transgender women". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 20, 2016.
  23. ^ "O.J. Chopper Pilot -- Completes Sexual Reassignment". www.tmz.com. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
  24. ^ Sidner, Sara (July 21, 2017). "Two helicopter pilots share O.J. Simpson chase -- and gender reassignment". CNN. Retrieved July 21, 2017.
  25. ^ Torregrosa, Luisita Lopez (June 10, 2017). "'You Can't Rattle Her': Katy Tur on the Rise". The New York Times. Retrieved February 9, 2020.
  26. ^ Mitch Kellaway (March 23, 2015). "Trans Reporter Zoey Tur in Hot Water Over Remarks on Trans Bodies, Rights". The Advocate. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  27. ^ Zack Ford (March 20, 2015). "An Imperfect Spokesperson: The Transgender Backlash Against Zoey Tur". ThinkProgress. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ TMZ Staff (June 12, 2013). "Bob Tur Famed Chopper Pilot To Become a Woman". TMZ. Retrieved March 23, 2014.
  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. Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  31. ^ Walker, Lauren (July 21, 2015). "Editor Ben Shapiro Files Police Report Against Transgender Reporter After Heated TV Exchange". Newsweek. Retrieved December 21, 2016.

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