Husband of 9/11 hero returns 'Woman of the Year Award' after Caitlyn Jenner is honoured

He finds it insulting to his wife's memory and the memory of other heroic women who have earned this award

Entertainment Desk November 18, 2015
The disappointed man says he finds it insulting to his wife's memory and the memory of other heroic women who have earned this award

The husband of a cop who was killed in the 9/11 attack has returned his wife’s posthumous Woman of the Year award to Glamour Magazine after Caitlyn Jenner was given the same honour last week.

James Smith's late wife, 38-year-old Moira Smith, was the only NYPD officer who lost her life while rescuing people from the Twin Towers on September 11. She was then honoured with the accolade back in 2001.

James Smith and his daughter remember Moira Smith as people gather at the World Trade Center site on September 11, 2006. PHOTO: AFP

However, the widower was saddened when the former Olympian Bruce Jenner who is now transgender woman Caitlyn Jenner, received the award.

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In an online letter to the editor Cindi Leive on November 12, James wrote, “On October 29th, 2001 I was honoured to accept the Glamour Magazine ‘Woman of the Year Award’ posthumously given to my wife, Police Officer Moira Smith. Moira was killed on September 11th, 2001 while rescuing thousands from the World Trade Center. EMT Yamel Merino was also posthumously honoured that evening for her heroism."


James was offended to see Caitlyn among the recipients of the award in 2015. “I find it insulting to Moira Smith’s memory, and the memory of other heroic women who have earned this award," he wrote.

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"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?," he added.


He also accused the magazine for its act saying, “I can only guess that this was a publicity stunt meant to resuscitate a dying medium."

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“After discussing this slap in the face to the memory of our Hero with my family, I have decided to return Moira’s award to Glamour magazine," he concluded.

A spokesperson from the magazine told the New York Post that it stands by its decision.

“We were proud to honour his wife in 2001, and we stand by our decision to honor Caitlyn Jenner. Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards recognise women with a variety of backgrounds and experiences," they said in a statement.


This is not the first time a transgender woman has been honoured though. Laverne Cox also received the Transgender Champion award in 2014.


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