Abby McGrew Manning, 36, is the wife of former New York Giants QB Eli Manning, 39, her college sweetheart. Abby was born and raised in Nashville, Tenn. She attended Brentwood Academy, a sports powerhouse that has produced notable current NFL players such as Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Derek Barnett. Abby has two sisters, Lacey and Molly. She also is roughly one foot shorter (5’5”) than her famous husband (6’4”), who on Jan. 22 announced he was retiring from the NFL after spending all 16 years with the Giants. Here are five more fun facts to know about Abby McGrew Manning:
1. Met Eli at Ole Miss; Moved to New York to Work in Fashion
Abby met Eli at Ole Miss in 2002, when she was a freshman and he was a junior. She was a member of Kappa Delta’s Alpha Mu chapter and earned a degree from the University of Mississippi in family and consumer sciences in 2005. Abby then moved to New York to work in fashion as an account executive for designer Pamella Roland, founder and namesake of an eveningwear line. Her move to New York timed out well, as Eli’s NFL career with the New York Giants started in 2004.
2. Married Eli in Mexico, Months After Giants Won Super Bowl XLII
Abby and Eli married on April 19, 2008, at the One & Only Palmilla resort along the Sea of Cortez on the Baja Peninsula in Los Cabos, Mexico. The big day was just months after Eli won the big game, earning Super Bowl MVP honors after winning Super Bowl XLII — the first of Eli’s two Super Bowl wins over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Chocolate “Super Bowl” rings were passed out to guests by the groomsmen, a group of which Eli’s brothers Peyton and Cooper were members. Elton John’s classic “Your Song” was played for the bride and groom’s first dance.
3. Has Four Children — Three Girls and a Boy
Abby is the mother of three daughters Ava Frances, 8 (b. 2011), Lucy Thomas, 6 (b. 2013), and Caroline Olivia, 4 (b. 2015), and a son, Charles "Charlie" Elisha, who was born last year on Feb. 3, the day of Super Bowl LIII. Eli grew up with older brothers Cooper and Peyton (who like Eli won two Super Bowls in his career) and his father is another former NFL QB, Archie Manning. While being part of a household dominated by women (girls have the 4-2 advantage), may be different, it’s not something he would trade. In 2014, Eli shared with about being a father and what some of his favorite moments are. "When we have the whole family together, maybe bathtime when I have both kids in the bathtub and they start splashing each other and making each other laugh. That usually gives me my biggest smile — when I see both my girls interacting with each other," Manning said.
4. Donates Millions to Various Charities
The “Eli & Abby Manning Birthing Center” at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, was a $10 million project kick-started by the local couple. The couple has also donated $1 million to the Children’s of Mississippi, a $100 million capital campaign and helped raise nearly $3 million in partnership with Friends of Children’s Hospital to open the Eli Manning Children’s Clinics at Batson Children’s Hospital in Mississippi. Abby and Eli also gave a $1 million gift to Ole Miss Opportunity, a need-based scholarship program to encourage higher education.
5. Makes Historic Real Estate Purchases
In 2016, Abby and Eli purchased an $8.5-million, 7,000-square-foot home on a 1.2-acre beachside lot in the Hamptons town of Quogue. The home was purchased by the couple’s Mr. Chester LLC, which is named after the family dog, Chester, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. The summer home is in the same town where Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton once lived and counts Michael J. Fox as a current resident. The couple also has a $4.7 million home in Summit, N.J. Prior to that, they sold their waterfront property — with a view of the New York City skyline — for a $3.55 million, making it the most expensive residential property sale in Hoboken, N.J., history.