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Tinsley Mortimer was born to a Virginia family. Her family is descended from John Mercer, the writer of the first Code of Virginia. Tinsley spent her childhood at Graymont, the Mercer family house in Richmond, and made her debut at the Bal du Bois. She was additionally a nationally-ranked tennis player, trained by coach Nick Bollettieri. She attended boarding school at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey, where she met her husband, Topper Mortimer. The couple moved to New York, where Tinsley graduated from Columbia University with a degree in art history. Though the two parted ways in 2009, they remain good friends. [+]