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Bruce Jenner

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Bruce Jenner
Bruce Jenner.jpg
Bruce Jenner in March 2011
Personal information
Birth name William Bruce Jenner
Nationality United States
Born (1949-10-28) October 28, 1949 (age 65)
Mt. Kisco, New York, U.S.
Residence Malibu, California, U.S.
Spouse(s) Chrystie Crownover
Linda Thompson
Kris Jenner
Country United States of America
Sport Track & Field
Event(s) Decathlon
College team Graceland University
Coached by Randy Trentman

William Bruce Jenner (born October 28, 1949) is a former U.S. track and field athlete and current television figure. He won the gold medal in the decathlon at the 1976 Summer Olympics held in Montreal.

Following Jenner's Olympic victory and the related recognition, his professional career led to new success in television. By 1981, he had starred in several made-for-TV movies and was Erik Estrada's replacement briefly on the top-rated TV series CHiPs.

In 1991, he married Kris Jenner (née Houghton, previously Kardashian). Since the 2007 debut of the cable television reality series Keeping Up with the Kardashians, he is seen as the stepfather of the Kardashian siblings: Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, and Rob Kardashian, as well as the father of Burt, Casey, Brandon, Brody, Kendall, and Kylie Jenner.

Early life

Jenner was born in Mount Kisco, New York, the son of Esther R. (née McGuire) and William Hugh Jenner.[1][2] Jenner has two sisters, Lisa and Pam.[3] His younger brother, Burt, was killed in a car accident in Canton, Connecticut, shortly after Jenner's success at the Olympics.[4] Jenner was diagnosed with dyslexia as a young child.[5]

Jenner attended Newtown High School, Newtown, Connecticut,[1] after spending a year at Sleepy Hollow High School (in Sleepy Hollow, New York). He earned a football scholarship and attended Graceland College (now Graceland University) in Iowa, but a knee injury forced him to stop playing football and he switched to the decathlon.[6] He was mentored by Graceland's track coach L. D. Weldon, who was the first to recognize Jenner's potential and encouraged him to pursue the decathlon.[7] Jenner debuted in the decathlon at the Drake Relays in 1970, placing fifth.[8] Jenner graduated from Graceland College in 1973 with a degree in physical education.[9]

Olympic career

At the 1972 decathlon U.S. Olympic trials, Jenner was mired in fifth place behind Steve Gough and Andrew Pettes. Needing to make up a 19-second gap on Gough in the 1500 meters, Jenner ran a heroic last lap, separating himself from his rivals by 22 seconds to make the Olympic team. The Eugene Register-Guard asked "Who's Jenner?"[10][11] He went on to finish in 10th place at the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, Germany.[12] His success prompted him to devote himself to an intense training regimen, while selling insurance outside training hours.[1] In the era before professionalism was allowed in athletics, this kind of training was unheard of. During that period, he spent eight hours a day at the San Jose City College track.[1][13] 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.[13][14] In 1974 and 1976, Jenner was the American champion in the event.[15] While on tour in 1975, he also won the French national championship.[16] Jenner's best events were the skill events of the second day[17][18] where his intense training showed.

At the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada, he won the gold medal in the decathlon,[19] setting the world record of 8,616 points, beating his own world record set at the Olympic Trials.[11] He hit a "home run" by achieving personal bests on the first day, turning his notorious second day into a gold medal coronation.[18]

"It hurts every day when you practice hard. Plus, when this decathlon is over, I got the rest of my life to recuperate. Who cares how bad it hurts?"

—Bruce Jenner[18]

The world record was broken by just 4 points by Daley Thompson in 1980. In 1985, the IAAF decathlon scoring table was changed; Jenner's winning score was reevaluated against that table and reported as 8,634 for comparative purposes. The converted mark stood as the American record until 1991 when it was surpassed by eventual gold medalist and world record holder Dan O'Brien.[20] As of 2011, Jenner is No. 25 on the world all-time list and the No. 9 American.[21]

As a result of winning the Olympic decathlon, Jenner was a national hero. He was the 1976 recipient of the James E. Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States. Jenner was also the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year in 1976.[6] He 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. He was inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.[22]

San Jose City College hosted the "Bruce Jenner Invitational" (frequently shortened to "Jenner Invitational") as a televised annual stop on the United States Track and Field Circuit (a meet equivalent in stature to the Prefontaine Classic). Records were set at the meet, with Jenner frequently hosting the telecasts.[23]


In the 1970s, Olympic athletes were considered amateur and were 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.

"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."

After his Olympic success, Jenner decided to cash in on his celebrity status, requiring him to forgo any future Olympic appearances. He left his 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." He 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 San Francisco district attorney that General Mills, the makers of Wheaties, had been engaged in false advertising. Jenner contended that he 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 Jenner, saying that it was "a case of overzealousness" on the part of his staff.[24]

In 1977, the Kansas City Kings selected Jenner with the 140th pick of the NBA draft. Jenner had not played basketball since high school; the closest he came to a basketball career was when he made a basket in the "YMCA" sequence of the film, Can't Stop the Music (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 his performance. That was the end of his theatrical movie career until he appeared in 2011's Jack and Jill in a scene with Al Pacino as an actor in a play. Both Can't Stop The Music and Jack and Jill won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture.

TV career

Jenner has had some success in a television career. He 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, he 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. He also appeared on an episode of the sitcom Silver Spoons called "Trouble with Words," wherein he revealed his dyslexia in a storyline that dealt with a teenaged recurring character dealing with the same problem. He appeared on the series Learn To Read and in the video games Olympic Decathlon (1981) and Bruce Jenner's World Class Decathlon (1996).

His "hero shot", the finish of the final event of 1976 Olympic decathlon, and Wheaties cover were parodied by John Belushi on Saturday Night Live endorsing "Little Chocolate Donuts."[25]

Jenner has appeared as himself on a variety of game shows and reality television programs. He 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, Jenner 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, The Weakest Link, featuring Olympic athletes. In February and March 2003, he was part of the cast of the American series,I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!. He had a cameo appearance in a season-three episode of The Apprentice, which aired in May 2005. He was partnered with Tai Babilonia for Skating with Celebrities in an episode that aired January–March 2006 (they were eliminated during the fifth of seven episodes). Jenner 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 his family. In November 2010, a photograph of Jenner played the role of a janitorial resume in an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Other 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.[26][27]

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.[28] Season 2 had an average of 1.6 million viewers, an increase over the previous cycle.[29] Jenner has also made cameo appearances on the show's spinoff series.

Auto-racing career

Jenner was a successful race car driver in the IMSA Camel GT series (International Motor Sports Association) in the 1980s. His 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. His most successful year was also 1986, when he finished second in the championship to Pruett.[30][31]

"I was a lot more badass runner than I was a driver."



His company, Bruce Jenner Aviation, sells aircraft supplies to executives and corporations.[33] 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.

Personal life

During his first marriage, to Chrystie Crownover (1972 to 1981), he had two children, Burt and Casey.[34] Their divorce was finalized the first week of January 1981.[35]

Jenner immediately married actress Linda Thompson on January 5, 1981, at the Oahu, Hawaii, home of film producer Allan Carr.[36] As of February 1986 they were separated.[37] They had two children together, Brandon and Sam Brody, known as Brody.[38] The two sons starred on the reality show The Princes of Malibu. Brody Jenner was also on the reality show The Hills.

Jenner married Kris Kardashian (née Houghton) on April 21, 1991, after five months of dating.[39] They have two daughters, Kendall and Kylie. Jenner is the stepfather to Kris' four children from her previous marriage to the late lawyer Robert Kardashian: Kourtney, Kim, Khloé and Rob. The couple announced their separation in October 2013,[40] though they had actually separated a year earlier.[41] Kris filed for divorce in September 2014 citing irreconcilable differences.[42] Their divorce terms were finalized in December 2014 and went into effect on March 23, 2015, due to a six-month state legal requirement.[43]

On February 7, 2015, Jenner was involved in a multiple-vehicle collision on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California. The accident caused one death, and eight others were injured. Jenner was able to walk away from the accident.[44][45][46] Jenner's car, a Cadillac SUV towing a dune buggy, was the first car of a four-car chain-reaction crash. During the investigation, with the road closed, a fifth vehicle driven by a drunk driver crashed into the wreckage.[47][48]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Bruce Jenner. Novelguide. Retrieved on November 6, 2011.
  2. ^ Crownover, Ernest Elder (1986). Matt and Daisy Dell Kuykendall Crownover: Their Ancestry and Posterity. Santa Rosa, California: E.E. Crownover. p. 39. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Interview with Jenner's mother". Daily Mail. 11 November 2014. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Faber, Nancy (April 11, 1977). "Fame Woes". People 7 (14): 24–27. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  5. ^ Cooper, Chet. "Gold Medallist Bruce Jenner interviewed by Chet Cooper". Ability. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Holst, Don; Popp, Marcia S. (December 8, 2004). American Men of Olympic Track and Field: Interviews with Athletes and Coaches. McFarland & Company. pp. 53–62. ISBN 978-0-7864-1930-2. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  7. ^ Jenner, Bruce (April 1, 1999). Finding the Champion Within: A Step-by-Step Plan for Reaching Your Full Potential. Simon and Schuster. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-684-87037-3. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  8. ^ Murry R. Nelson, ed. (May 23, 2013). American Sports: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas. ABC-CLIO. p. 611. ISBN 978-0-313-39753-0. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  9. ^ Sielski, Mike (November 19, 2003). "Jenner true to word, wins Olympic gold". ESPN Classic. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ a b Richard Hymans (2008) The History of the United States Olympic trials – Track and Field. USA Track and Field
  12. ^ Athletics at the 1972 München Summer Games: Men's Decathlon | Olympics at. Retrieved on September 6, 2011.
  13. ^ a b Bud Winter Biography, San Jose State University 1940–1970, Part 1. (March 2, 2011). Retrieved on November 6, 2011.
  14. ^ Bruce Jenner wins decathlon — This Day in History — 7/30/1976. Retrieved on November 6, 2011.
  15. ^ "USA Outdoor Track & Field Hall of Fame". USA Track & Field. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  16. ^ "French Championships". Retrieved February 7, 2015. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b c d
  19. ^ "Athletics at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games: Men's Decathlon". Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ Decathlon All Time. Updated August 29, 2011. Retrieved on September 6, 2011.
  22. ^ "Arturs Irbe, Bruce Jenner headline San Jose Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2010". San Jose Mercury News. September 22, 2010. Retrieved January 11, 2015. 
  23. ^ “” (November 14, 2006). "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Report from court archives researched by Laura Perkins". June 24, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Little Chocolate Donuts". NBC. November 19, 1977. Retrieved March 5, 2015. 
  26. ^ "#141 Olympic Winners Episode". Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Bonnie Hunt show". Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  28. ^ "Cristina Kinon, "E! renews 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians'",, November 13, 2007". New York: November 13, 2007. Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  29. ^ By (July 17, 2008). "Daniel Frankel, "'Kardashians' gets third season". Variety. July 13, 2008". Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  30. ^ "IMSA | TUDOR United SportsCar Championship | The Eighties: The Reign Of The IMSA GTP Prototypes". Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Bruce Jenner – Actors turned racers". Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  32. ^ Bromberg, Nick (August 15, 2013). "Bruce Jenner says racing cars, not running, has brought him the closest to passing out". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  33. ^ "Bruce Jenner Aviation website". Bruce Jenner Aviation. Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  34. ^ Bob Ottum (November 3, 1980). "Hey, Mister Fantasy Man". Sports Illustrated (SI Vault). Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  35. ^ Jenner, Chrystie (January 12, 1981). "An Olympic Hero's Ex-Wife Finds Out Who She Is in the Wreckage of Her Marriage" 15 (1). Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  36. ^ "Notes on People; Bruce Jenner Married 'Hee Haw' Entertainer; Hawaiian Wedding". The New York Times. January 7, 1981. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  37. ^ "After Five Years, Bruce Jenner and Second Wife Linda Find Happiness Is Not Working Out". People 25 (6). February 10, 1986. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  38. ^ Saad, Nardine (March 5, 2013). "Brody Jenner joins 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians'". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  39. ^ "Jenner-Kardashian". The Day (New London). April 23, 1991. p. A2. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  40. ^ Baker, Ken; Finn, Natalie (October 8, 2013). "Kris Jenner and Bruce Jenner Are Separated, "Much Happier" Living Apart". E Online. Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  41. ^ Takeda, Allison (October 8, 2013). "Kris Jenner, Bruce Jenner Separate After 22 Years of Marriage: "I Will Always Love Him"". Us Weekly. Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  42. ^ Finn, Natalie (September 22, 2014). "Kris Jenner Files for Divorce From Bruce Jenner 11 Months After Revealing Separation". E! News. Retrieved September 22, 2014. 
  43. ^ Bacardi, Francesca (December 18, 2014). "Kris Jenner and Bruce Jenner's Divorce Finalized". E!. Retrieved January 29, 2015. 
  44. ^ McShane, Larry (February 7, 2015). "Bruce Jenner blames paparazzi for deadly three-car pileup on Pacific Coast Highway". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 
  45. ^ Dobuzinskis, Alex; Grebler, Dan, Editor; Plumb, Christian, Editor (February 7, 2015). "Ex-Olympian Bruce Jenner in car crash that killed another, police say". Los Angeles: Reuters. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 
  46. ^ Lara, Maria Mercedes (February 7, 2015). "Bruce Jenner Involved in Fatal Car Crash in Malibu". People. Retrieved February 7, 2015. 
  47. ^ "Police video offers new details in fatal Bruce Jenner crash". CBS News. February 18, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2015. 
  48. ^ Klein, Asher; Cocca, Christina; LaBeach, Kevin; Larsen, Kate. "Woman Killed Fatal Chain-Reaction Crash Involving Bruce Jenner". KNBC. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 

External links

Preceded by
Soviet Union Mykola Avilov
Men's decathlon world record holder
August 10, 1975 – May 15, 1980
Succeeded by
United Kingdom Daley Thompson
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Soviet Union Mykola Avilov
World's Greatest Athlete
Succeeded by
United Kingdom Daley Thompson