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Husband of hero 9/11 cop returns wife's Woman of the Year award after Caitlyn Jenner given same prize

The husband of a heroic police officer who died saving hundreds of people on 9/11 has returned his wife's Woman of the Year award in protest at Caitlyn Jenner being given the same honour.

Women of the Year award recipients: Moira Smith (left) and Caitlyn Jenner Credit: Facebook/Reuters

NYPD officer Moira Smith, aged 38, bravely repeatedly ran back into Tower Two to help evacuate those inside, and died during one of her rescue missions.

She was given Glamour magazine's Woman of the Year award posthumously in December 2001 - but it has now been posted back to the magazine's offices by her husband.

In an open letter posted to Facebook, James Smith - also an NYPD officer - said he found it "insulting" to the memory of his wife that transgender Jenner, 66, had been given the award, calling it a "slap in the face".

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?

– James Smith
New York police officer James Smith reads the names of victims during a ceremony to mark the fifth anniversary of the September 11 attacks at the site of the World Trade Center as his daughter Patricia stands by him, in New York September 11, 2006 Credit: Reuters

Jenner, a former Olympic track star and member of the Kardashian family's reality TV show, was among a number of celebrities honoured at Carnegie Hall in New York earlier this month.

She was given the Transgender Champion award, and thanked her family for their support while going through the transition.

"I've had many, many, many years of isolation of hiding from the world, lying to the world, of not being myself," she told the ceremony.

Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon, tennis star Billie Jean King and Victoria Beckham were also recognised at the event.

A Glamour magazine spokesman told the NY Daily Post they stood by their decision.

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.

– Glamour spokesman

James Smith's letter in full: