Los Angeles Times sportswriter Mike Penner, who made international headlines in 2007 when he announced he was transsexual and would be living as a woman, died over the weekend. The Times reports that he likely committed suicide, although an official cause of death has yet to be released.

Two years ago Penner began using the byline Christine Daniels. Over the years he covered the Angels, the Olympics and soccer. He also had a column. He returned to his Mike Penner byline a little more than a year ago.

The journalist wrote about his personal transition in the pages of the Times, and he remained a well-respected member of the Times staff until his death Friday night at Brotman Medical Center in Culver City. He was 52.

“Mike was a first-rate journalist, a valued member of our staff for 25 years and we will miss him,'' Times editor Russ Stanton said. “He respected our readers a great deal, enough to share with them his very personal journey.

LA Weekly