Katy Tur of MSNBC is not the first reporter in her family. Zoey Tur, whom Katy calls dad, is an accomplished journalist in her own right, having broken one of the biggest news stories of the 1990s. Let’s learn her story.
Zoey Tur, Pilot And Reporter
The parents of Katy Tur are Marika Gerrard and Zoey Tur. Zoey came out as transgender in 2013 and underwent gender reassignment surgery and hormone replacement therapy in 2014. She’s legally changed her name and gender marker. Katy still refers to Zoey as “dad,” but all her pronouns are female.
Zoey and Gerrard founded the Los Angeles News Service. Their aim was to try and cover news as it was happening by racing to the scene. The two eventually acquired a helicopter. Zoey was the pilot while Gerrard would hang from the side of the plane as the photographer.
Covering Enormous Stories
Together, Gerrard and Zoey covered some of the biggest stories of the 1990s. The two captured one of the most iconic images of the LA riots: the beating of Reginald Denny. They flew over Sean Penn and Madonna’s wedding in 1995 and covered the Northridge earthquake of 1994.
Perhaps the pair’s most famous story was the infamous white Bronco chase. Zoey had a hunch that OJ Simpson would visit Nicole Brown Simpson’s grave. She flew towards it and became the first person to broadcast the excruciating car chase. Zoey would later be interviewed for the Academy award-winning documentary O.J.: Made in America, where much of her and Gerrard’s footage is used.
Los Angeles News Service would be contracted out by nearly every major network in the Bay Area, and the family earned three Emmys in the process. Despite their success, or perhaps thanks to it, Zoey and Gerrard broke up in 2003.
In the 2020 documentary Whirlybird, Zoey elaborated on how her temper harmed her family. She admitted to being verbally abusive and angry, saying “My greatest fear was becoming my dad, and I’ve become my dad.” She also said she’s “pretty much already dead” to her daughter Katy and son Jamie.
Katy and Zoey have been estranged for some time. Katy denies that it has anything to do with Zoey’s transition. Knowing Katy’s husband Tony Dokoupil was able to reconcile with his drug-dealing father, perhaps there is hope for the Turs as well.
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