They moved to Chicago in 1958 and he worked at the Daily News as a copy editor. He and his wife had a boy and two girls. In 1963 he moved to the Chicago Tribune and he became a prize-winning journalist, whose name was promoted on the newspaper’s delivery trucks. He was their war correspondent in Vietnam, for which he won four Associated Press awards. He specialized in masculine stories: he scuba-dived to wrecks on the ocean floor; he camped out with the Green Berets; he rode fire engines. He was regarded as irascible by his co-workers.
He was known for his negative comments about hippies and women, but by the late 1960s he was growing his hair long and wearing makeup. He had divorced his wife and married the family baby sitter. She sewed dresses for him and helped him with makeup. She wanted him to stay a transvestite. In 1975, a columnist at the rival Sun-Times outed Hunt, and the Tribune transferred her to the night copydesk where she became Nancy. After surgery at the University of Virginia, Nancy and her second wife divorced.
Nancy wrote her biography and appeared on television to promote it. She emphasized that as a man he had been a ‘devout heterosexual’, and film director Brian De Palma used this clip in his slasher movie Dressed to Kill, 1980.
In the early 1980s she married Wallace Bowman, Sr, and enjoined the staff at the Tribune to say nothing to him about Ridgely. In 1984 she retired, and she and Wallace spend part of their lives in Florida. Constance had to sue Nancy for missed child support payments, especially as one of the daughters has Down’s syndrome. Nancy maintained that Wallace never knew about her past. She outlived him, and spent her last years in a seniors’ residence in Florida.
- Nancy Hunt. Mirror Image: the Odyssey of a Male-to-Female Transsexual. New York: Holt, Rhinehart and Winston. 1978.
- Linda Witt. "Brave Ex-Reporter and Now Transsexual Nancy Hunt Looks at Her Lives as Man and Woman". People, February 12, 1979. www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20072932,00.html.
- Marcia Froelke Coburn “Former Chicago Tribune staffers remember their late colleague’s radical transformation – from man to woman”. Chicago Tribune. September 1999.
- Brian De Palmer (dir & scr). Dressed to Kill, with Michael Caine as Dr Robert Elliot, Angie Dickinson as Kate Miller, and Nancy Hunt in a cameo on television. US 105 mins 1980.