IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Husband of 9/11 hero returns award after Caitlyn Jenner receives the same honor

Fourteen years after his late wife received Glamour's 'Woman of the Year' award for her courage as a New York police officer on 9/11, an out
/ Source: TODAY

Fourteen years after his late wife received Glamour's "Woman of the Year" award for her courage as a New York police officer on 9/11, an outraged James Smith returned the honor after it was also given to Caitlyn Jenner last week.

Smith's wife, Moira Smith, died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks after repeatedly rushing into the south tower of the World Trade Center to evacuate dozens of people before it collapsed.

The 38-year-old was the only female NYPD officer killed in the attacks.

New York Police Officer Moira Smith
A photo of New York Police Officer Moira Smith, who died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, is taped under hew newly engraved name at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington Monday, April 29, 2002. Smith's husband has returned an award given posthumously to her by Glamour magazine after Caitlyn Jenner recently received the same award.AP file

In an open letter to Glamour posted on Facebook, James Smith, himself a former NYPD officer, called Jenner’s award a "slap in the face" and said he had mailed the award back to the magazine.

"Was there no woman in America, or the rest of the world, more deserving than this man?'' Smith wrote.

RELATED: Caitlyn Jenner, Kris hug at fashion show

"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?"

Jenner, 66, was given the award on Nov. 9 during a ceremony at New York’s Carnegie Hall where Glamour hailed her as "The Trans Champion."

The Olympic gold medalist formerly known as Bruce Jenner announced her transition to Caitlyn in June when she appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair.

Patricia Mary Smith, 7, holds hands with her father
New York police officer James Smith, pictured with daughter Patricia, has called Caitlyn Jenner winning the same award as his wife a "slap in the face."NY Daily News via Getty Images file

"There was a French activist and writer, Simone de Beauvoir, who said, 'You are not born woman. You become one' ... Words I live by," Jenner said during her acceptance speech.

"Of all the things I've done in my life, Caity is why God put me on this earth: to tell my story; to be honest with myself about who I am.

“And in doing that, making a difference in the world. And I'm very happy to be living on the other side."

2015 Glamour Women Of The Year Awards - Backstage
Caitlyn Jenner poses backstage with her award at the 2015 Glamour Women Of The Year Awards at Carnegie Hall on Nov. 9 in New York City.Getty Images file

A Glamour spokesperson acknowledged that Smith had sent his wife’s award back and that it was standing by Jenner’s honor.

"“We were proud to honor his wife . . . in 2001, and we stand by our decision to honor Caitlyn Jenner,” a Glamour spokeswoman told The New York Post.

“Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards recognize women with a variety of backgrounds and experiences.”

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.