A devastating loss. Caitlyn Jenner’s mom, Esther Jenner, has died at age 96.
“I am heartbroken to announce my mom passed away yesterday morning, peacefully,” the I Am Cait alum, 73, shared via Instagram on Friday, April 21, alongside a series of photos of her late mother. “Losing a mother is unique in the sense that she is the only person that loved me my entire life. I will miss her tremendously. She was a few weeks shy of 97 and lived a full life. Love you mom.”
Esther — who was outspoken about her love for her children and grandkids, including Kendall and Kylie Jenner — made occasional appearances on the family’s reality shows throughout the years and publicly supported Caitlyn when she came out as transgender in 2015.
“My first feeling was, ‘I lost my son.’ Then I thought, ‘You know what? I’m gaining [a daughter]!'” Esther revealed on I Am Cait that year.
In a July 2015 Vanity Fair interview regarding her transition, the Olympian revealed that her mom had not yet “met” Caitlyn — but she already had high hopes for their relationship.
“[My mom and I] had a conversation the other day, we were talking about a lot of things, and, you know, she goes, ‘You know what, I think I can have a better relationship with Caitlyn now than I [could before],’” Caitlyn recalled. “And so when she ends the conversation, she goes, ‘OK, goodbye, Caitlyn.’ It was very funny, very cute.”
When Esther and Caitlyn finally came together, the Jenner family matriarch had only praise for her daughter.
“She is so much more at ease,” Esther told Access Hollywood in June 2015, adding that she was thrilled for her child while acknowledging it would be “a struggle for me to get used to the change.” She gushed: “I’m very happy for [her]!”
Regardless of her feelings about the family’s ventures into reality TV — Esther was vocal over the years about her opinions on both Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Hulu’s The Kardashians — she was enamored with her grandchildren and supportive of Caitlyn’s former stepkids. The gold medalist raised Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, Khloé Kardashian and Rob Kardashian after marrying Kris Jenner in 1991. The exes called it quits in 2013.
“My two granddaughters, Kendall and Kylie, created [the Hulu series] and I love them dearly. They’re my blood,” Esther told The Sun in 2022. “And my four step-grandchildren — Kim, Kourtney, Khloé and Robert — feel like they’re mine too.”
Esther was pre-deceased by her late husband, William Jenner, who died in 2000, and son Burt Jenner, who died in 1976. Along with Caitlyn and Burt, the couple shared daughters Pam Mettler and Lisa Jenner. Esther is survived by her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.