Caitlyn Marie Jenner (born: William Bruce "Bruce" Jenner; October 28, 1949) is a former U.S. track and field athlete and current motivational speaker, television personality, and businesswoman. She won the gold medal in the Decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal.
Following her Olympic victory and the related recognition, her professional career led to a new success in television. By 1981, she had starred in several made-for-TV movies and was Erik Estrada's replacement briefly on the top-rated TV series CHiPs. In 1991, she married Kris Jenner (née Houghton, previously Kardashian). Since the 2007 debut of the cable television reality series, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, she is seen as the former stepfather of the Kardashian siblings: Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, and Rob Kardashian as well as the father of Burt, Casey, Brandon, Brody, Kendall, and Kylie Jenner.
Jenner was born in Mount Kisco, New York, the son of Esther R. (née McGuire) and William Hugh Jenner. Jenner has a younger sister named Nicole. Her younger brother, Burt was killed in a car accident in Canton, Connecticut shortly after Jenner's success in the Olympics. Jenner was diagnosed with dyslexia as a young child.
She attended Newtown High School in Newtown, Connecticut, after spending a year at Sleepy Hollow High School in Sleepy Hollow, New York. Jenner earned a football scholarship and attended Graceland College (now Graceland University) in Iowa, but a knee injury forced her to stop playing football and she switched to the decathlon. She was mentored by Graceland's track coach L. D. Weldon, who was the first to recognize Jenner's potential and encouraged her to pursue the decathlon. Jenner debuted in the decathlon at the Drake Relays in 1970, placing fifth.
Jenner named her first son after her deceased brother. During her first marriage, to Chrystie Crownover (1972 to 1981), she had two children, Burt and Casey. During her second marriage, to Linda Thompson (1981 to 1985), she had two sons, Brandon and Sam "Brody". Brandon and Brody appeared in their own reality show The Princes of Malibu. Brody was also on the reality show The Hills.
Jenner married Kris Kardashian (née Houghton) on April 21, 1991, after five months of dating. Jenner has two daughters with Kris, Kendall and Kylie. She is also the stepfather to Kris' four children from her previous marriage to the late lawyer Robert Kardashian: Kourtney, Kim, Khloé and Rob. The Jenners announced their separation in October 2013, though they had actually separated a year earlier. Their divorced was finalized in 2015.
In December 2013, Jenner reportedly consulted with a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon about having a tracheal shave. The procedure, which results in a flattening of the Adam's apple, was reportedly carried out in early 2014. Although a tracheal shave is typically performed on patients undergoing sex reassignment surgery, Jenner has denied she has plans for a sex change operation, claiming that she just “never liked [his] trachea”.
Jenner placed third in the decathlon at the 1972 U.S. Olympic trials and finished in tenth place at the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, Germany. Her success prompted her to devote herself to an intense training regimen, while also selling insurance outside training hours. In the era before professionalism was allowed in athletics this kind of training was unheard of. During that period, she spent eight hours a day at the San Jose City College track. Centered around Bert Bonanno, the coach at SJCC, San Jose at the time was a hotbed for training aspiring Olympic athletes, including Jenner, along with Millard Hampton, Andre Phillips, John Powell, Mac Wilkins, Al Feuerbach, and others. In 1974 and 1976, Jenner was the American champion in the event.
At the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada, she won the gold medal in the Decathlon, setting the world record of 8,616 points. The world record was broken by just 4 points by Daley Thompson in 1980. In 1985, the IAAF Decathlon scoring table was changed, so Jenner's winning score has been reevaluated against that table and reported as 8634 for comparative purposes. As of 2011, Jenner is No. 25 on the world all-time list and the No. 9 American.
As a result of winning the Olympic decathlon, Jenner was a national hero. She was the 1976 recipient of the James E. Sullivan Awardas the top amateur athlete in the United States. Jenner was also the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year in 1976. She was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame in 1986 and the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame, the Connecticut Sports Hall of Fame in 1994, and the United States National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1980. She was inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.
San Jose City College hosted the "Bruce Jenner Invitational" (frequently shortened to "Jenner") as a televised, annual stop on the United States Track and Field Circuit (a meet equivalent in stature to the Prefontaine Classic) for the better part of two decades. Records were set at the meet with Jenner frequently hosting the telecasts.
In the 1970s, Olympic athletes were considered amateur and were absolutely not allowed to seek or accept payment for their positions as sports celebrities. In 1972, during the Cold War, three major Olympic titles that had a long history of American success (basketball, 100 meters, and decathlon), were won by Soviet athletes. Winning back the decathlon title made Jenner an American hero. After her Olympic success, Jenner set out to cash in on her celebrity status (requiring her to give up any future Olympic appearances). She left her vaulting poles in the stadium, having no intention of ever using them again. Quickly after the Games, Jenner appeared on the front of Wheaties brand breakfast cereal as a "Wheaties champion." Of several hundred athletes who have been so featured, Jenner is one of seven Wheaties "spokesmen." She was invited to the White House to meet with President Gerald R. Ford, who autographed a political cartoon that featured the pair.
On November 22, 1977, Jenner went to San Francisco to refute charges filed by the district attorney that General Mills, the makers of Wheaties, had been engaged in false advertising. Jenner contended that she likes the cereal and consumes this breakfast cereal two to three times per week. Two days later District Attorney Joseph Freitas withdrew the false advertising suit against General Mills for its advertising campaign featuring Mr. Jenner, saying that it was "a case of overzealousness" on the part of his staff.
In 1977, the Kansas City Kings selected Jenner with the 140th pick of the NBA Draft. Jenner had not actually played basketball since high school; the closest she came to a roundball career was when she sank a basket in the "YMCA" sequence of the film Can't Stop the Music in 1980. The movie was a disco-era comedy about the singing group The Village People. It gave Jenner a starring role, but the movie was a flop. Jenner was nominated for the 1980 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actor for her performance. That was the end of her theatrical movie career until she appeared in 2011's Jack and Jill in a scene with Al Pacino as an actor in a play. Adam Sandler won the Golden Raspberry as both Worst Actor and Worst Actress in that film. Both Can't Stop The Music and Jack and Jill won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture, making Jenner two for two in his movie career.
Jenner decided to pursue a television career and had some success. She starred in the made-for-TV movies, The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story (1980) and Grambling's White Tiger (1981). From 1981 to 1982, she became a semi-regular cast member on the police series, CHiPs, guest-starring as Officer Steve McLeish (substituting for star Erik Estrada, who was lodged in a contract dispute with NBC and MGM), for six episodes. She also appeared on an episode of the sitcom Silver Spoons where she revealed her dyslexia in a storyline that dealt with a teenaged recurring character dealing with the same problem. She also appeared on the series Learn To Read.
Further TV AppearancesEdit
Jenner has appeared as herself on a variety of game shows and reality television programs. She starred with Grits Gresham in an episode of ABC's The American Sportsman. The program featured Gresham hunting, fishing, or shooting in exotic spots with celebrities. In the early 1990s she was the host of an infomercial for a stair-climbing exercise machine called the Stair Climber Plus.
In January 2002, Jenner participated in an episode of the American series of The Weakest Link featuring Olympic athletes. In February and March 2003, she was part of the cast of the American series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, and made a cameo on a season three episode of The Apprentice that originally aired in May 2005. She was partnered with Tai Babilonia for Skating with Celebrities that aired January–March 2006 (they were eliminated during the fifth of seven episodes). Jenner has additionally served as a guest judge on Pet Star on Animal Planet, and appeared on NBC's game show, Identity, as well as Celebrity Family Feud with her family.
Additional television and talk show appearances by Jenner include Nickelodeon's made-for-TV film Gym Teacher: The Movie as well as episodes of Murder, She Wrote, Family Guy, Pet Star on Animal Planet, Identity, Lingo Olympic Winners episode and Celebrity Family Feud as well as such talk shows as Hannity and The Bonnie Hunt Show.
Since late 2007, Jenner has starred in the E! reality series Keeping Up With The Kardashians, along with wife Kris Jenner, stepdaughters Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, and stepson Rob (from Kris' marriage to attorney Robert Kardashian), and daughters Kylie and Kendall. Season 2 had an average of 1.6 million viewers, an increase over the previous cycle. Jenner has also made cameo appearances on the show's spinoff series.
Jenner was a successful race car driver in the IMSA Camel GT series (International Motor Sports Association) in the 1980s. Her first victory came in the 1986 12 hours of Sebring in the IMSA GTO class driving the 7-Eleven Roush Racing Ford Mustang with co-driver Scott Pruett, not only winning their class but finishing 4th overall in the 12 hour endurance race. Her most successful year was also 1986 finishing second in the championship to Pruett.
His company, Bruce Jenner Aviation, sells aircraft supplies to executives and corporations. Jenner was the business development vice president for a staffing industry software application known as JennerNet, which was based on Lotus Domino technology.
Jenner was the marketing name for Bruce Jenner's Westwood Centers for Nautilus & Aerobics in the early 1980s. Jenner had no ownership in the centers. The fitness centers were owned by David Cirotto. The centers were sold to Super Fitness Centers, owned by martial arts expert Paul Snow.