Husband of 9/11 Hero Returns Woman of the Year Award After Caitlyn Jenner Is Honored: “Is This the Best You Could Do?”

Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner was awarded one of Glamour's Women of the Year awards in 2015. Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic

Policeman James Smith took Caitlyn Jenner’s recent win as one of Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year very personally. The widower, whose late wife, Moira Smith, won the same accolade 14 years ago, posted a letter to Cindi Leive of Glamour on Thursday, Nov. 12, returning his wife’s award.

James Smith
James Smith and his daughter Patricia remember NYPD officer Moira Smith as people gather at the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2006 Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

“On October 29th, 2001 I was honored to accept the Glamour Magazine ‘Woman of the Year Award’ posthumously given to my wife, Police Officer Moira Smith,” James wrote in his post. “Moira was killed on September 11th, 2001 while rescuing thousands from the World Trade Center. EMT Yamel Merino was also posthumously honored that evening for her heroism.”

Cindi LeiveGlamour MagazineConde Nast1 World Trade CenterNew York, NY10007Dear Ms.Leive,On October 29th, 2001 I…

Posted by James Smith on Thursday, 12 November 2015

James was offended that the Olympian — whom he referred to as Bruce Jenner — was among the 2015 award recipients.

“I find it insulting to Moira Smith’s memory, and the memory of other heroic women who have earned this award,” he wrote. “Was there no woman in America, or the rest of the world, more deserving than this man? At a time when we have women in the armed forces fighting and dying for our country, heroic doctors fighting deadly diseases, women police officers and firefighters putting their lives on the line for total strangers, brave women overcoming life threatening diseases…the list of possibilities goes on…is this the best you could do?”

Caitlyn Jenner
Caitlyn Jenner on Vanity Fair cover

He then accused the magazine of giving Jenner, 66, the award as a “publicity stunt meant to resuscitate a dying medium.”

James noted that he would be returning his wife’s award, calling it a “slap in the face to the memory of our Hero.”

A spokeswoman for Glamour told the New York Post in a statement: “We were proud to honor his wife … in 2001, and we stand by our decision to honor Caitlyn Jenner. Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards recognize women with a variety of backgrounds and experiences.”

Jenner herself has not spoken out about the controversy, but it’s not the first she’s faced in recent days. Outside of a luncheon in Chicago, Ill., on Thursday, the reality star confronted trans protestors, who were shouting, “You are an insult to trans people, you are an insult to women.” 

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