News Chopper Pilot Becomes A Woman

News Chopper Pilot Becomes A Woman

He's the famous helicopter pilot known as Chopper Bob Tur, a gutsy pilot reporter who captured some of the most iconic news images of our time.

Bob Tur filmed the horrific beating of truck driver Reginald Denny during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

And in 1994 his was the first helicopter on the scene of the historic O.J. Simpson Bronco chase.

In the 1990's Tur worked for KCBS in Los Angeles and the national news program American Journal.

Now, the 53-year-old is making a major, some would say stunning announcement. He's changing his name, and his gender. Bob Tur is becoming Zoey Tur.

Tur told INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret, "Big changes are coming. You won't recognize me!"

He broke the news on Facebook with this status update: "I have gender identity disorder and started aggressive hormone replacement therapy. I've never been happier."

Tur told Moret, "I would rather die than live another year as a male. It was killing me emotionally, mentally and physically."

He says at heart, he's always been a woman and it's part of the reason he became a thrill seeking chopper pilot.

"Covering news, flying a helicopter, doing rescues, breaking news stories got my mind off the reality that was going on inside my head. I've done rescues. I've done news. I've done all these exciting things. People have called me macho. People have called me a hero. But no one has ever called me a liar. I was the world's biggest liar," said Tur.

Tur was married for 20 years and has two children. His daughter, Katie Tur is a reporter at NBC.

INSIDE EDITION's Jim Moret asked, "How did your family take the news?"

"They didnt' take it well at first, but they understood. They're mourning the loss of their dad. Dad is dying," Tur said.

Tur is documenting his transformation from man to woman on Facebook. He posts himself experimenting with make-up. He posts pictures of the female clothes he hopes to wear one day. He's also planning surgery to complete his transformation into a woman.

So, what about Chopper Bob, the fearless news junky?

Tur said, "I don't think today I would put myself in the kind of risk situations that I put myself in years ago. I think differently now. I think like a woman."