Bruce Jenner

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 motivational speaker, television personality, and businessman. 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 a younger sister named Nicole.[citation needed] His younger brother, Burt, was killed in a car accident in Canton, Connecticut, shortly after Jenner's success at the Olympics.[3] Jenner was diagnosed with dyslexia as a young child.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6] Jenner debuted in the decathlon at the Drake Relays in 1970, placing fifth.[7]

Olympic career

Jenner placed third in the decathlon at the 1972 U.S. Olympic trials[8] and finished in tenth place at the 1972 Summer Olympics held in Munich, Germany.[9] His success prompted him to devote himself to an intense training regimen, while also 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][10] 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.[10][11] In 1974 and 1976, Jenner was the American champion in the event.[12] While on tour in 1975, he also won the French national championship.[13]

At the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada, he won the gold medal in the decathlon,[14] setting the world record of 8,616 points. The world record was broken by just 4 points by Daley Thompson in 1980. In 1985, the IAAF decathlon scoring table was changed, so Jenner's winning score has been reevaluated against that table and reported as 8634 for comparative purposes. As of 2011, Jenner is No. 25 on the world all-time list and the No. 9 American.[15]

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.[5] 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.[16]

San Jose City College hosted the "Bruce Jenner Invitational" (frequently shortened to "Jenner") as a televised, annual stop on the United States Track and Field Circuit (a meet equivalent in stature to the Prefontaine Classic) for the better part of two decades. Records were set at the meet with Jenner frequently hosting the telecasts.[17]


In the 1970s, Olympic athletes were considered amateur and were absolutely 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. After his Olympic success, Jenner set out to cash in on his celebrity status (requiring him to give up 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, Bruce 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 Mr. Jenner, saying that it was "a case of overzealousness" on the part of his staff.[18]

In 1977, the Kansas City Kings selected Jenner with the 140th pick of the NBA draft. Jenner had not actually played basketball since high school; the closest he came to a roundball career was when he sank a basket in the "YMCA" sequence of the film Can't Stop the Music in 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. Adam Sandler won the Golden Raspberry as both Worst Actor and Worst Actress in that film. Both Can't Stop The Music and Jack and Jill won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture, making Jenner two for two in his movie career.

Jenner decided to pursue a television career and had some success. 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, wherein he revealed his dyslexia in a storyline that dealt with a teenaged recurring character dealing with the same problem.[episode needed] He also appeared on the series Learn To Read.

His "hero shot," the finish of the final event of 1976 Olympic decathlon, was parodied by John Belushi on Saturday Night Live endorsing "Little Chocolate Donuts" instead of Wheaties.[19]

Jenner also appears in the video games Olympic Decathlon (1981) and Bruce Jenner's World Class Decathlon (1996).

Further TV appearances

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 he 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 of The Weakest Link featuring Olympic athletes. In February and March 2003, he was part of the cast of the American series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! and made a cameo on a season-three episode of The Apprentice that originally aired in May 2005. He was partnered with Tai Babilonia for Skating with Celebrities that aired January–March 2006 (they were eliminated during the fifth of seven episodes). Jenner has additionally 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.

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, 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.[20][21]

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.[22] Season 2 had an average of 1.6 million viewers, an increase over the previous cycle.[23] Jenner has also made cameo appearances on the show's spinoff series.

Auto racing career

Bruce 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.[24][25]

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



His company, Bruce Jenner Aviation, sells aircraft supplies to executives and corporations.[27] 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.[28] Jenner named his first son after his deceased brother. During his second marriage, to Linda Thompson (1981 to 1985), he had two sons, Brandon and Sam "Brody" who appeared in their own reality show The Princes of Malibu. Brody was also on the reality show The Hills.

Jenner married Kris Kardashian (née Houghton) on April 21, 1991, after five months of dating.[29] 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,[30] though they had actually separated a year earlier.[31] Kris filed for divorce in September 2014 citing irreconcilable differences.[32] Their divorce was finalized on December 18, 2014, but won't be official until March 23, 2015.[33]

See also


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b c d Bruce Jenner. Novelguide. Retrieved on November 6, 2011.
  2. Jump up ^ 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. Jump up ^ Faber, Nancy (April 11, 1977). "Fame Woes". People 7 (14): 24–27. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  4. Jump up ^ Cooper, Chet. "Gold Medallist Bruce Jenner interviewed by Chet Cooper". Ability. Retrieved July 13, 2014. 
  5. ^ Jump up to: 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. 
  6. Jump up ^ 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. 
  7. Jump up ^ 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. 
  8. Jump up ^ Richard Hymans (2008) The History of the United States Olympic trials – Track and Field. USA Track and Field
  9. Jump up ^ Athletics at the 1972 München Summer Games: Men's Decathlon | Olympics at. Retrieved on September 6, 2011.
  10. ^ Jump up to: a b Bud Winter Biography, San Jose State University 1940–1970, Part 1. (March 2, 2011). Retrieved on November 6, 2011.
  11. Jump up ^ Bruce Jenner wins decathlon — This Day in History — 7/30/1976. Retrieved on November 6, 2011.
  12. Jump up ^ "USA Outdoor Track & Field Hall of Fame". USA Track & Field. Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  13. Jump up ^
  14. Jump up ^ "Athletics at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games: Men's Decathlon". Retrieved April 2, 2014. 
  15. Jump up ^ Decathlon All Time. Updated August 29, 2011. Retrieved on September 6, 2011.
  16. Jump up ^ "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. 
  17. Jump up ^ “” (November 14, 2006). "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  18. Jump up ^ "Report from court archives researched by Laura Perkins". June 24, 2011. Retrieved December 28, 2011. 
  19. Jump up ^ "in this Belushi Youtube compilation". Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  20. Jump up ^ ", "#141 Olympic Winners Episode",". Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  21. Jump up ^ "Bonnie Hunt show". Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  22. Jump up ^ "Cristina Kinon, "E! renews 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians',", November 13, 2007". New York: November 13, 2007. Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  23. Jump up ^ By (July 17, 2008). "Daniel Frankel, "'Kardashians' gets third season". Variety. July 13, 2008". Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  24. Jump up ^ "IMSA | TUDOR United SportsCar Championship | The Eighties: The Reign Of The IMSA GTP Prototypes". Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  25. Jump up ^ "Bruce Jenner – Actors turned racers". Retrieved June 28, 2014. 
  26. Jump up ^ 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. 
  27. Jump up ^ "Bruce Jenner Aviation website". Bruce Jenner Aviation. Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  28. Jump up ^ Bob Ottum (November 3, 1980). "Hey, Mister Fantasy Man". Sports Illustrated (SI Vault). Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  29. Jump up ^ "Jenner-Kardashian". The Day (New London). April 23, 1991. p. A2. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  30. Jump up ^ Baker, Ken; Finn, Natalie (October 8, 2013). "Kris Jenner and Bruce Jenner Are Separated, "Much Happier" Living Apart". E Online. Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  31. Jump up ^ 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. 
  32. Jump up ^ Finn, Natalie (September 22, 2014). "Kris Jenner Files for Divorce From Bruce Jenner 11 Months After Revealing Separation". E! News. Retrieved September 22, 2014. 
  33. Jump up ^

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
Name Jenner, Bruce
Alternative names  
Short description American decathlete
Date of birth October 28, 1949
Place of birth Mount Kisco, New York, U.S.
Date of death  
Place of death