Who is Alvin Martin? Everything About Whoopi Goldberg’s First Husband

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  • Post last modified:December 4, 2023
Who is Alvin Martin? Everything About Whoopi Goldberg’s First Husband
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Alvin Martin is the first husband of the famed actress, Whoopi Goldberg. The former flames Alvin and Whoopi met because of his profession.

So, what does Alvin do? Here is everything to know about Martin.

Key Takeaways

  • Alvin was a drug counselor when he met Whoopi.
  • He argued a lot with the actress when they were in a pinch financially.
  • They had a daughter.
  • Alvin and Whoopi had a strained relationship and went their separate ways in the same year their daughter was born.
  • His net worth is about a million.

Alvin Martin’s Bio

Born in 1952, Alvin is in his early 70s. He was raised by his father and mother Irma Martin.

When it comes to his ethnicity, Alvin is an African American.

What Does Alvin Martin Do?

Alvin was a drug counselor in the late 1960s and early 1970s. After that, he served as a clerk for the Chase Manhattan Bank in 1973.

He was with the bank for 24 years before he went to work at the New York City Medicaid in 1997.

His Net Worth

He has a net worth of at least $1 million from all of his jobs and his long-term service at a bank. On the other hand, his ex-wife, Whoopi has a staggering net worth of $60 million.

How Did Alvin Martin Meet Whoopi Goldberg?

Alvin met his then-wife Whoopi because of his job as a drug counselor, in 1972. It was when the actress was 17 years of age and was recovering from drug use at Horizon House, with the help of the other counselors in the organization.

Alvin was three years older than Whoopi when he met her.

Whoopi's ex Alvin was a drug counselor.
Alvin, Goldberg’s ex-spouse was a counselor.

One of the professionals who lent their hand was Alvin, who helped Whoopi a great deal with her drug problems. According to Alvin, Whoopi was never a “junkie.”

“It was more a phase she was going through, just dosing a little bit of everything. She was never hooked on one drug.” – Martin

Martin and Whoopi Goldberg’s Relationship

Alvin was attracted to Whoopi from the very moment he saw her. She was different from everyone in the organization. She was eccentric and easily stood out because of her unconventional beauty, as Alvin recalls.

The two started talking and the drug counselor’s liking for her only grew. On the other hand, Whoopi was in a complicated situation after leaving drugs, with her decision to pursue acting and move out of her mother, Emma Harris’ apartment. She didn’t want to be stuck doing a regular job as well. So, she started dating Alvin, to find a more stable environment.

Whoopi soon moved into Alvin’s apartment in Greenwich Village, making friends with all of his family. However, the actress’ mother was against the two living together before getting married.

They Got Married In 1973

With the pressure from Whoopi’s mother to get married, the two walked down the wedding aisle in 1973. However, things would not be all rainbows and cupcakes in their marriage.

The couple fought and argued constantly because of financial difficulties. Alvin would stress the need for double income in their home, but Whoopi was adamant about pursuing her acting career.

Nevertheless, she did give a clerical job a try, but Alvin did not like the fact that she would never dress professionally. “I’d buy her dresses and try to make her wear them, but she refused to conform. She just didn’t fit in.”

The arguments only stopped when Whoopi got pregnant with their daughter.

Alvin Martin and Whoopi Goldberg Welcomed Daughter Alex Martin

It was within a year of their marriage that Whoopi was expecting a baby with Alvin. They had their daughter, Alexandrea Martin, on May 9, 1974, when Whoopi was only 18. When they were expecting Alex, the married couple moved from Greenwich Village to lower Manhattan and then later to Queens, New York, for a better home.

Did Whoopi Get Pregnant To Avoid Her Job?

Several outlets claimed that Whoopi got pregnant to quit her job. However, the actress has stated that her daughter was a “pill baby.” Alvin also supported Whoopi’s claim, admitting that the baby was not planned and they decided to keep it.

However, he did mention that the Sister Act star was mostly concerned about not having to go back to working at the bank. “She just wanted to be available to check out new (acting) roles that were coming along.”

Their Marriage Fell Apart

Even after Alex was born, Whoopi and Alvin couldn’t maintain a cordial bond, with the husband constantly stressed about having to work two jobs to feed the family and the wife refusing to get a stable job.

It was even more difficult for Alvin as Whoopi was getting huge acting roles but getting paid considerably low. So, Alvin was working and also taking care of their baby when Whoopi was out on set.

During that time, the two had reached the peak of their arguments, even screaming at each other. When things didn’t get better, they separated in 1974, with Whoopi taking their child to live with her mother.

They Divorced In The Late 1979

Even after the separation, the two remained on unreconcilable terms, eventually divorcing in 1979.

When they divorced, Whoopi was already living three thousand miles away with their daughter, so Alvin didn’t have much chance to see Alex.

It was 10 years later after their divorce that Alvin would finally see Whoopi, in the newspaper that talked about the actress-comedian opening a one-woman show. Alvin later admitted that perhaps he was too worried about money when Whoopi was genuinely trying to make it big in the entertainment industry.

Alvin Martin’s Relationship With Daughter Alex Martin.

Whoopi’s ex-husband maintains a good bond with his daughter today. When Whoopi’s career had skyrocketed and her fame took an equal flight, Alvin did his best to stay in contact with Alex.

The father and daughter were especially close during Alex’s mid-teens when she went through a personal crisis and Alvin was there for her emotionally since he couldn’t be there in California.

However, soon after that, the relationship began to fizzle out, as the contact gradually decreased. Alvin claims that it was because he had to go through several people just to be in touch with Whoopi and then she’d call back after some time. It was too much of a hassle for Alvin.

Today, the father and daughter are trying their best to maintain contact.

Jenifer Lewis Claimed That Whoopi Was Assaulted By Her Drug Counselor

In August 1994, singer-actor Jenifer Lewis sat down with LA Weekly and claimed that Whoopi was se*ually assaulted by her drug counselor. She told reporter Kristal Brent Zook that people have forgotten about Whoopi being assaulted when she was on drugs during her teens

“They seem to forget that when she went for help, she was rap*d by her counselor and had to have an abortion.”

That being said, Whoopi has never mentioned anything about this, so it is hard to deduce if this is true.

Who are Whoopi Goldberg’s Ex-Husbands?

After divorcing Alvin, Whoopi went on to marry cinematographer David Claessan in 1986. The marriage only lasted for two years, as the two divorced in 1988.

After that, Whoopi got married for the last time to actor Lyle Trachtenberg in 1994. This union also didn’t make it long with the couple divorcing a year later.


How old was Whoopi Goldberg when she had her daughter Alex?

Whoopi was only 18 years of age when she gave birth to Alex.

How long was Whoopi married to Alvin?

With all the arguments they had, Whoopi was with Alvin for less than two years and married for 6 years, counting the duration of their separation.

Where is Alvin Martin now?

Martin currently resides in New York, USA.


Sagar Chand, who goes by Cannon, is a founder at celebsuburb.com. With an aim to cover the life of celebrities, he started the website in 2020 and has been continuously working as an author, editor, and administrator. He has over 6 years of work experience in the entertainment field. Further, he is also one of the Co-Founders at Pandora Group of Companies. Contact: sagarchand242@gmail.com