Historical records matching Madman Muntz
About Madman Muntz
Birth: Jan. 3, 1914
Death: Jun. 20, 1987
Engineer, Salesman extraordinaire. A marketing Genius!! Automobiles, Television sets, 4-track tape & tape machines; Earl did engineer, Build and sell all of these and more---. An Entrepreneurial marvel!!
Burial: Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale) Glendale Los Angeles County California, USA Plot: Meditation, Map F36, Lot 53, Space 10
Maintained by: LAWRENCE HEIDLEBAUGH Originally Created by: Chris Mills Record added: Feb 22, 2012 Find A Grave Memorial# 85474806
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Earl William "Madman" Muntz (January 3, 1914 – June 21, 1987) was an American businessman and engineer who sold and promoted cars and consumer electronics in the United States from the 1930s until his death in 1987. He was a pioneer in television commercials with his oddball "Madman" persona – an alter ego who generated publicity with his unusual costumes, stunts, and outrageous claims. Muntz also pioneered car stereos by creating the Muntz Stereo-Pak, better known as the 4-track cartridge, a predecessor to the 8-track cartridge developed by Lear Industries.
He invented the practice that came to be known as Muntzing, which involved simplifying otherwise complicated electronic devices. Muntz produced and marketed the first black-and-white television receivers to sell for less than $100, and created one of the earliest functional widescreen projection TVs. He was credited with coining the abbreviation "TV" for television, although the term had earlier been in use in call letters for stations such as WCBS-TV. A high school dropout, Muntz made fortunes by selling automobiles, TV receivers, and car stereos and tapes. A 1968 Los Angeles Times article noted that in one year he sold $72 million worth of cars, that five years later he sold $55 million worth of TV receivers, and that in 1967 he sold $30 million worth of car stereos and tapes.
After his success as a used car salesman and with Kaiser-Frazer dealerships in Los Angeles and New York City, Muntz founded the Muntz Car Company, which made the "Muntz Jet", a sports car with jet-like contours. The car was manufactured between 1951 and 1953, although fewer than 400 were produced.
Muntz married seven times. His wives included actress Joan Barton (who appeared in Angel and the Badman with John Wayne) and Patricia Stevens of the Patricia Stevens Finishing Schools. Phyllis Diller was among his many girlfriends. He was friends with celebrities such as singer Rudy Vallee, comedian Jerry Colonna, actor Bert Lahr, television presenter Dick Clark, and actor Gene Autry.