“We got what we wanted. We scared the hell out of everybody in the world only a month away from the Games.”
Caitlyn Marie Jenner was born william Bruce Jenner on October 28, 1949, in Mount Kisco, New York, to Esther Ruth (née McGuire) and william Hugh Jenner. Her Father was an arborist. She has two sisters, Lisa and Pam. Her younger brother, Burt, was killed in a car accident in Canton, Connecticut on November 30, 1976, shortly after Jenner's success at the Olympic Games. As a young child, Jenner was diagnosed with dyslexia.
Jenner attended Sleepy Hollow High School in Sleepy Hollow, New York, for her freshman and sophomore years and Newtown High School in Newtown, Connecticut, for her junior and senior years, graduating in 1968. Jenner earned a football scholarship and attended Graceland College (now Graceland University) in Lamoni, Iowa, but was forced to stop playing football because of a knee injury. Recognizing Jenner's potential, Graceland track coach L. D. Weldon encouraged Jenner to switch to the decathlon. In 1970, Jenner placed fifth while debuting in the decathlon at the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa. Jenner graduated from Graceland College in 1973 with a degree in physical education.
In the 1970s, Olympic athletes were considered to be amateurs and were not allowed to seek or accept payment for their positions as Sports celebrities. During the Cold War in 1972, three major Olympic titles that had a long history of American success – basketball, the 100 meter dash, and decathlon – were won by Soviet athletes. Jenner became an American hero by returning the decathlon title to the United States. "After the Games were over," Jenner said, "I happened to be the right guy, at that right place, at that right time." Tony Kornheiser of The New York Times wrote: "Jenner is twirling the nation like a baton. He and wife, Chrystie, are so high up on the pedestal of American heroism, it would take a crane to get them down."
Prior to her public gender transition, Jenner had been married three times, first to Chrystie Scott (née Crownover) from 1972 to 1981. They have two children, son Burton "Burt" Jenner and daughter Cassandra "Casey" Marino (née Jenner). Jenner and Scott's divorce was finalized the first week of January 1981.
Of the 13 decathlons Jenner competed in between 1973 and 1976, the only loss was at the 1975 AAU National Championships, when a "no height" in the pole vault marred the score.
Jenner was the American champion in the men's decathlon event in 1974, and was featured on the cover of Track & Field News magazine's August 1974 issue. While on tour in 1975, Jenner won the French national championship, and a gold medal at the 1975 Pan American Games, earning the tournament record with 8,045 points. This was followed by new world records of 8,524 points at the U.S.A./U.S.S.R./Poland triangular meet in Eugene, Oregon on August 9–10, 1975, breaking Avilov's record, and 8,538 points at the 1976 Olympic trials, also in Eugene. The record in Eugene was a Hybrid score because a timing system failure and wind aided marks. Still, Jenner was proud of “A nice little workout, huh?”
Jenner appeared on the cover of the August 9, 1976, issue of Sports Illustrated, the February 1979 issue of Gentleman's Quarterly, and on the cover of Playgirl magazine. Jenner became a spokesperson for Tropicana, Minolta, and Buster Brown shoes. Jenner was also selected by the Kansas City Kings with the 139th pick in the seventh round of the 1977 NBA draft despite not having played basketball since high school. The publicity stunt was executed by team president/general manager Joe Axelson to mock the Kansas City Chiefs' yearly claims that they planned on selecting “the best athlete available” in the National Football League Draft. Jenner was presented with a jersey customized with the number 8618, his Olympic-gold-medal-winning score, but would never appear as an active player with the Kings.
On November 22, 1977, Jenner went to San Francisco to refute charges filed by San Francisco district attorney Joseph Freitas that General Mills—the maker of Wheaties—had engaged in deceptive advertising in its campaign that featured Jenner. Jenner liked Wheaties and ate the breakfast cereal two or three times a week, which supported the advertising campaign's claims. Two days later, Freitas withdrew the suit, saying that it was "a case of overzealousness" on the part of his staff.
Jenner had licensed her previous name for Bruce Jenner's Westwood Centers for Nautilus & Aerobics in the early 1980s to David A. Cirotto, President of other local Nautilus & Aerobics Centers. She had no ownership in the licensed name centers, which were solely owned by Cirotto. Jenner's 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.
On January 5, 1981, Jenner married Actress Linda Thompson in Hawaii. They have two sons together, Brandon Jenner and Sam Brody Jenner (known as Brody). By February 1986, Jenner and Thompson had separated and subsequently divorced. Their sons later starred on the reality show The Princes of Malibu, and Brody appeared in the reality show The Hills.
Jenner has appeared in a variety of game shows and reality television programs, including starring with Grits Gresham in an episode of ABC's The American Sportsman. The program features Gresham hunting, fishing, or shooting in exotic areas with celebrities. In the early 1990s, Jenner was the host of an infomercial for a stair-climbing exercise machine called the Stair Climber Plus.
On April 21, 1991, Jenner married Kris Kardashian (née Houghton) after five months of dating. They have two daughters, Kendall and Kylie Jenner. While married, Jenner was also the step-parent to Kris's children from her previous marriage – Kourtney, Kim, Khloé and Robert – who star in Keeping Up with the Kardashians. The couple announced their separation in October 2013, though they had actually separated in June. Kris filed for divorce in September 2014 citing irreconcilable differences. Their divorce terms were finalized in December 2014 and went into effect on March 23, 2015, because of a six-month state legal requirement.
Chris Mandle of The Independent stated: "Jenner has gone on to inspire countless men and women, but her comments, which were made after she was celebrated at Glamour magazine's Women Of The Year in New York were branded 'offensive and insulting'." He added: "People began tweeting the other, harder things women have to deal with, such as institutionalized oppression, abuse and sexual assault". James Smith, husband of Moira Smith, the only female New York Police Department officer to die on September 11, 2001, returned Moira's "Woman of the Year" award, given posthumously. Referring to Jenner as a man, he stated that he found Glamour giving Jenner the same award insulting to Moira's memory, and referred to the matter as a publicity stunt. Smith later said that, having supported transgender youth and Glamour's decision to honor transgender Actress Laverne Cox in 2014, he did not object because Jenner is transgender; he objected to Jenner's "hardest part about being a woman" commentary; this proved to him that Jenner "is not truly a woman. I believe this comment and others he has made trivializes the transgender experience as I have witnessed it."
In January 2002, Jenner participated in an episode of the American series The Weakest Link, featuring Olympic athletes. In February and March 2003, Jenner was part of the cast of the American series I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!. She made a cameo appearance in a season-three episode of The Apprentice, which aired in May 2005. She also partnered with Tai Babilonia for Skating with Celebrities in a series that aired January – March 2006 (they were eliminated during the fifth of seven episodes), served as a guest judge on Pet Star on Animal Planet, as well as (with the Kardashian family) on Celebrity Family Feud. In November 2010, a photograph of Jenner was shown in a janitor's resume in an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Since late 2007, Jenner has starred in the E! reality series Keeping Up with the Kardashians along with wife Kris Jenner, stepchildren Kourtney, Kimberley, Khloé, and Rob Kardashian (from Kris's marriage to attorney Robert Kardashian), and daughters Kylie and Kendall.
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, the Lingo Olympic Winners episode, and talk shows such as Hannity and season 1, episode 21 of The Bonnie Hunt Show in 2008.
In 2011, Jenner appeared in the Adam Sandler comedy Jack and Jill in a scene with Al Pacino as an actor in a play. Like Can't Stop the Music, the film won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture and swept every Razzie category.
Feminist author Germaine Greer called Glamour magazine's decision to award Jenner with a "Woman of the Year" award misogynistic, questioning whether a transgender woman could be better than "someone who is just born a woman." Jenner also received criticism from individuals such as Actress Rose McGowan, for stating – in a BuzzFeed interview – that the hardest part about being a woman "is figuring out what to wear". McGowan argued: "We are more than deciding what to wear. We are more than the stereotypes foisted upon us by people like you. You're a woman now? Well fucking learn that we have had a VERY different experience than your life of male privilege." McGowan later stated that she was not transphobic, and added: "Disliking something a trans person has said is no different than disliking something a man has said or that a woman has said. Being trans doesn't make one immune from criticism."
In February 2015, Jenner was involved in a fatal multiple-vehicle collision on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California. Kim Howe, an animal rights Activist and Actress, was killed when Jenner's SUV ran into Howe's car. Accounts of the sequence of collisions have varied, as have the number of people injured. Prosecutors declined to file Criminal charges, but three civil lawsuits were brought by Howe's stepchildren and drivers of other cars involved in the collision. Jessica Steindorff, a Hollywood agent who was hit by Howe's car, settled her case in December 2015. Howe's stepchildren settled their case in January 2016. Financial details were not disclosed in either case.
Later in the month, she condemned Trump for issuing an order to reinstate a ban on transgender people from serving in the military. In her tweet, she wrote "What happened to your promise to fight for them?", juxtaposing it with Trump's tweet from June 2016 in which he promised to fight for the LGBT community.
In July 2017, Jenner announced that she was contemplating running in the 2018 race for the US Senate to represent California.