Long before anyone was keeping up with the Kardashians, Bruce Jenner was already a household name as one of the most famous athletes on the planet after his gold medal in the 1976 Olympics' decathlon. The sports icon-turned-heartthrob famously graced the front of Wheaties boxes and the cover of Sports Illustrated. Now, he's a regular on the tabloid front pages, thanks to his famous family and his new look, reports CBS News correspondent John Blackstone.
According to an Associated Press interview with his mother, Jenner is transitioning from male to female.
"How do you go from the world's greatest athlete to a transgender person? That's a big change," "Inside Edition" special correspondent Zoey Tur said.
Formerly known as Bob Tur, the news helicopter pilot made famous for tracking O.J. Simpson's 1994 Bronco chase, she knows what it's like to transition from male to female in the public eye.
"It's not that I'm trying to out Bruce Jenner, it's apparent," Tur said. "This is not a secret. And it's not a secret in my community. Bruce Jenner is transitioned."
Jenner himself hasn't commented, but multiple reports say he plans to open up about his transformation that is purportedly being documented for a TV series, following months of rumors about his changing appearance.
"I think Bruce should tell his story his way," step-daughter Kim Kardashian said on "Entertainment Tonight." "I think he'll share whenever the time is right."
"The family supports him no matter what," Kardashian said.
"For good or ill, whatever Kim Kardashian does, and how she reacts to this issue, is going to have a big effect on how people think about it," Time reporter Katy Steinmetz said.
She wrote the recent Time Magazine cover story on the growing profile of the transgender community in American popular culture.
"The fact that Bruce Jenner comes from a place of being an athlete and something we associate with traditionally being very masculine and male and powerful, it makes it harder to stereotype what a transgender person is supposed to be like," Steinmetz said.
For those who are skeptical that this could be some sort of publicity stunt, Tur said, it's highly unlikely.
"When Jenner comes out, you should not doubt it," Tur said. "You don't do this unless you're truly transgender. It's just impossible to fake this."