Who is Katy Tur’s mother Marika Gerrard? NBC reporter's memoir talks family

Bruno Cooke June 13, 2022
Who is Katy Tur’s mother Marika Gerrard? NBC reporter's memoir talks family
Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

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Katy Tur sat down with CBS Sunday Morning yesterday to share her reaction to her father coming out as transgender – the interview comes in the wake of the publication of her memoir Rough Draft. What do we know about her mother Marika Gerrard?

Who is Katy Tur’s mother Marika Gerrard?

Katy Tur’s parents, Marika Gerrard and Zoey Tur co-founded the Los Angeles News Service.

In a review of Whirlybird, a 2020 documentary about the then-husband-and-wife journalistic team, the Los Angeles Times wrote that Zoey and Marika were two “intrepid, pioneering stringers”.

Together they would “race to provide breaking-news footage – the more electrifying and action-packed the better – to the city’s news outlets”.

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Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Marika Gerrard was the cameraperson (“often precariously hanging out of the helicopter cockpit”) to Zoey Tur’s pilot-reporter. That was before Zoey’s gender-reassignment surgery in 2014.

The Times adds that Zoey once said that she and Marika “fell in love to the heartbeat of the city”. They would go on to have two children, Katy Tur and her brother James.

What do we know about Katy Tur’s childhood and family life in general?

Katy grew up as the daughter of journalist duo Zoey Tur and Marika Gerrard.

“When I was a kid they were the coolest people in the world,” Katy told CBS News recently. “We had a helicopter. I got to go up in a helicopter. I knew how to fly a helicopter! it was a really unique and interesting childhood that nobody else had.”

She attended Brentwood School in Los Angeles, California and earned her bachelor’s degree in philosophy from UC Santa Barbara in 2005.

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Her younger brother James is two years her junior. James has been a street team coordinator for Doctors Without Walls for a decade, and also works as a teacher. He earned his doctor of medicine degree from Rowan University in 2018.

Katy’s mother Zoey Tur is an Emmy award-winning Jewish journalist. According to an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2016, after Zoey came out as transgender, Katy didn’t talk to her “for years”. 

Exploring Katy Tur’s relationship with her mother, Marika Gerrard

To a degree, Katy followed in both of her parents’ professional footsteps. They were journalists; she’s a journalist. 

During the course of her career, Marika Gerrard covered such landmark Los Angeles news events as the Northridge earthquake and the OJ Simpson police chase. 

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In its review of Whirlybird, the Los Angeles Times notes that Zoey’s struggle with gender dysphoria – before she came out as transgender, she lived as Robert Albert “Bob” Tur – meant she could be “angry, hair-trigger and verbally abusive”. Meanwhile, Marika “seemed to bear the brunt of her [then-]husband’s stress”. They divorced in 2003.

Born in 1955 and raised in LA, Marika spent 17 years with the Los Angeles Times before co-founding the Los Angeles News Service.

“To this day”, Katy Tur told The New York Times last week, she and her mother “swap books”. Marika used to read her daughter the classics when she was little. “It’s like getting a postcard from inside the other’s head without even having to talk about it”, Katy says. “Because who wants to talk about it?”

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Bruno Cooke has been a freelance journalist since 2019, primarily with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus, and has written for HITC, Groundviews and the Sheffield University newspaper – he earned his MA in Global Journalism there in 2021. He’s the Spoken Word Poetry Editor for The Friday Poem, and self-published his debut novel Reveries in 2019, which his mum called both a “fine read” and “excellent Christmas present”. Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes, among other things: bicycle touring, black and white Japanese films, pub quizzes, fermentation and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will set off with his partner on a round-the-world cycle.