The Wives and Lives of Tommy Manville

Tommy Manville was an American socialite and heir to the Johns-Manville asbestos fortune, but that’s not what he’s known for. What brought notoriety to Manville was his record-breaking 13 marriages to 11 women that won him an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. To say that Tommy’s relationship with his father was strained is an understatement. In fact, his father repeatedly disinherited him, but always relented. When Thomas Franklyn Manville, Sr. died, a trust fund was set up for Tommy that guaranteed him $250,000 when he married. Determined to make a fortune, Tommy would marry a woman, pay her $50,000, pocket $200,000, and get a quickie divorce. When he needed more money, he would simply find a new wife and start the process all over again. Manville was considered something of a clown, but was also secretly admired for his clever plan and extravagant bank account. At the time of his death in 1967, it was estimated that he had spent more than $1.25 million ($10.5 million today) on divorce settlements.