Richard Carpenter biography: age, family, net worth, where is he now?

Richard Carpenter biography: age, family, net worth, where is he now?

Richard Carpenter is an American musician. He gained immense popularity for being a member of the duo The Carpenters, which performed hit songs such as Close To You, Rainy Days and Mondays, We've Only Just Begun, Goodbye to Love, and Only Yesterday. What do you know about him?

Richard Carpenter
Richard Carpenter speaks at a press conference in Tokyo on October 15, 2008. Photo: Kanae Mochizuki/AFP via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Richard devoted the majority of his life to music. His passion for work earned him fame and numerous awards. Here is everything you need to know about one of the 1970s’ biggest stars.

Profile summary

  • Full name: Richard Lynn Carpenter
  • Date of birth: 15 October 1946
  • Age: 74 years (as of 2021)
  • Place of birth: New Haven, CT, USA
  • Marital status: Married
  • Children: 5
  • Height: 6 ft (183 cm)
  • Profession: Musician
  • Net worth: $10 million

Richard Carpenter’s biography

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The musician is from New Haven, Connecticut, the USA. He was born to Harold and Agnes.

Richard has had an interest in music since a young age. He listened to music on the radio as well as records. He was greatly influenced by musicians such as Guy Mitchell, Patti Page, Perry Como, Nat King Cole, Les Paul, and Mary Ford:

When I was young, my father hooked up two plank swings to the rafters in our basement. His Zenith radio-phonograph was down there, and I’d spend hours listening to his records.

He began to play music when he was eight years old. His first instrument was an accordion, but he quickly abandoned it in favour of the piano.

When it comes to siblings, he had a sister – Karen. She was also a musician. She died on 4 February 1983.

Is Richard Carpenter still alive? Yes, he is.

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How old is Richard Carpenter?

He was born on 15 October 1946. As of 2021, he is 74 years old.


He received his high school education from Downey High School in Downey, California. Given his early interest in music, Richard applied to California State University, Long Beach, to study music after graduating from high school.


Richard Carpenter’s family relocated from New Haven to Downey, near Los Angeles, in 1963. There, he decided to form a band with his younger sister Karen and his friend Wes Jacobs.

He played the piano, Karen handled the drums, and Wes Jacobs – the bass. In 1966, the band won first place in the Hollywood Bowl. It also landed a short-lived contract with RCA Records.

The musician and his sister later formed another band called Spectrum. It also included four other students from California State University, Long Beach. Shortly afterwards, Spectrum was disbanded.

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Following Spectrum’s disbanding, Richard and Karen formed The Carpenters. Karen was the lead vocalist who played the drums, and Richard was the backup vocalist who played the piano.

Richard Carpenter family
Richard and his sister Karen in 1977. Photo: Walt Disney Television via Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

They released several demo music tapes in 1969 and shopped them around to various record labels. Soon after, they signed a deal with A&M Records. Their first single was a cover of The Beatles' Ticket to Ride. It was followed by a re-recorded version of Burt Bacharach’s Close to You.

The duo quickly established themselves as one of the most successful pop/rock bands of the 1970s. It topped the country charts with the following hits:

  • Beechwood 4-5789
  • Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft
  • Close To You
  • Goodbye to Love
  • Hurting Each Other
  • It’s Going To Take Some Time
  • For All We Know
  • Only Yesterday
  • Please Mr. Postman
  • Rainy Days and Mondays
  • Sing
  • Superstar
  • The Masquerade
  • Those Good Old Dreams
  • Ticket To Ride
  • Top Of The World
  • We've Only Just Begun
  • Yesterday Once More

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The duos’ popularity earned them three Grammy Awards. In 1971, Karen and Richard were cast in the television series Make Your Own Kind Of Music!

Karen's health forced the duo to cancel a European tour in 1975. She suffered from anorexia nervosa for a long time. She improved over time and even released a solo album. In 1983, she died.

After Karen’s death, Richard continued to pursue a solo career. On 1 January 1997, he released his album “Richard Carpenter: Pianist, Arranger, Composer, Conductor.”

How successful is Richard Carpenter now?

Richard Carpenter’s net worth

Richard Carpenter today has a net worth of $10 million.

Who is Richard Carpenter's wife?

Richard and Mary Carpenter
Richard and his wife Mary. Photo:@richardcarpenterofficial
Source: Instagram

When it comes to his relationship status, the musician is currently married. Richard Carpenter’s wife’s name is Mary Rudolph.

She is his first cousin, whom his aunt adopted many years ago. They have no biological connection. After nearly ten years of dating, they exchanged wedding vows on 19 May 1984.

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Richard Carpenter’s children

Richard and Mary Carpenter are the parents of five children. Kristi Lynn, their first child, was born on 17 August 1987. In 1998, she made her appearance as an actress in the documentary series Behind the Music.

Traci Tatum, their second child, was born on 25 July 1989. She was also featured on the series Behind the Music alongside her sister Kristi. Richard’s third daughter, Mindi Karen, was born on 7 July 1992.

When the musician was 52 years old, his wife gave birth to his first son – Colin Paul. He was born on 20 July 1994. Their fifth child – Taylor Mary – was born six years later, on 5 December 2000.

Richard Carpenter and his family now reside in Thousand Oaks, California. They live in a sprawling one-story California ranch house. Richard has a media workspace in the basement where he writes and listens to music.

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