Robert Townsend Net Worth, Early and Personal Life, Career

Posted Busytape December 22, 2022
Updated 2022/12/22 at 1:06 PM
16 Min Read
Robert Townsend Net Worth
Robert Townsend Net Worth


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Robert Townsend is a 65-year-old American actor, director, comedian, and writer who was born on February 6, 1957, in Chicago, Illinois, United State. Townsend is best known for directing movies and stand-up specials.

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This article will provide you with information about Robert Townsend’s net worth, biography, and career to help you get to know him better.

Popular Name: Robert Townsend
Real Name: Robert Townsend
Birth Date: February 6, 1957
Birth Place: San Francisco Suburb of San Bruno, California
Age: 65years old
Gender: Male
Nationality/Citizenship: American
Height: 1.8 m
Weight: N/A
Sexuality: Straight
Marital Status: Divorce
Spouse(s): Divorce with Cheri Jones
Children: Grace, Skye, Isaiah, sierra
Profession: Actor
Years active: 1974–present
Net Worth:  $5 million
Last Updated: 2022

Early life

Townsend was born in Oyster Bay, New York, as the third of eight children to Samuel and Sarah Townsend. His father was a Whig-leaning politician who ran an Oyster Bay store.   His mother was an Episcopal priest, and his father was a Quaker.

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During his mid-teens, his father organized for Robert to work as an apprentice with the merchant firm Templeton and Stewart, where he lived and worked among soldiers and residents of Holy Ground, New York City’s largest red-light district during the war.

Townsend’s early years, according to Alexander Rose, we’re dedicated to making a fortune rather than exhibiting his patriotism. Rose claims that Townsend did well financially during the war by running a retail outlet while spying for Washington.

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Joins Culper Spy Ring

A number of factors drew Townsend to the Culper Spy Ring, including the influence of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, British abuse of his family, and his relationship with Woodhull. Even among non-Quakers, its philosophies were pervasive in much of the northeast at the time and influenced many people’s thinking, including the sect’s adherence to pacifism.

However, in Pennsylvania during the 1750s, there was a split between “political” Quakers and “religious” Quakers. In essence, “religious Quakers” accused “political Quakers” of violating traditional values, which resulted in political Quakers resigning and a wave of “purification” within the movement.

Despite some historians’ claims, there is no proof that Townsend was a Quaker; in fact, his family was a faithful member of the Oyster Bay Baptist Church, where the names of his father, mother, sister Sally, and several people sold into slavery by the family all appear on membership rolls. Nonetheless, Townsend appears to have been conflicted as a result of Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense and his moderate upbringing.

Paine was also brought up in the Quaker tradition, and in Common Sense he advocated the early Quaker views of rooting out corruption and narcissism. Paine also advocated using opposition to achieve his goals, which put him at odds with the newly reformed Quaker movement.

Paine contended that those who advocated “pacifism at any cost” were not genuine Quakers. His pamphlet motivated a small number of Quakers, as well as others who, like Townsend, were not Quakers but were also not political firebrands, to join the fight against Britain.

Townsend decided to volunteer for a logistics position in the Continental Army a few months after Paine’s pamphlet was published, which did not necessitate him to kill.

The treatment of Townsend’s family by British soldiers in Oyster Bay was another factor that urged him to join the fight against British rule. A number of British officers did believe that anti-British sentiment was deeply engrained in the colonists and that it should be thrashed out.

As a result, there were multiple instances of colonial violence and pillage. Simcoe made the Townsend house his headquarters, which he and his men used whenever and however they pleased. Townsend’s father was devastated when Simcoe’s men severely damaged his prized apple orchard. To make the matter worse, the Townsends were compelled to swear allegiance to the King or face imprisonment.

Townsend’s relationship with Abraham Woodhull was a final consideration. By June 1779, they knew and believed each other well enough that Townsend agreed when Woodhull asked him to join a new spy ring for Washington.

Washington’s intentions

To remain in the city and assemble as much useful information as possible, Culper Junior should mix as much as possible with the officers and refugees, and visit coffee shops, and all public places.

He is to pay special attention to land and water movements in and around the city. How their transports are shielded against attempts to kill them, whether by armed vessels on the flanks or by chains, booms, or other devices to keep fire rafts at bay.

The number of men destined for the defense of the city and environs, with an attempt to identify the specific corps and where each is posted.

To be precise in describing the location where the works cross the island in the rear of the city, as well as how many strongholds are on the line from river to river, how many Cannon in each, and of what weight, and whether the redoubts are closed or open next to the city.

If there are any works on the Island of New York between those near the city and those at Washington, where are they, and what kind they are?

To investigate whether any works have been put in place on the Harlem River near Harlem Town and whether Horn’s Hook has been fortified. If so, how many men are positioned at each location, and how many and what size cannons are in those works?

Inquire whether they have dug pits within and in front of the lines, as well as works in general, three or four feet deep, with sharply pointed stakes pointed. These are designed to catch and wound men who attempt a surprise attack at night.

The state of the regulations, forage, and fuel, as well as the Army, Navy, and City’s health and spirits, must all be addressed.

These are the primary things to keep in mind while on the Island and in New York City. Many more things may occur to a person with C. June’s level of permeation, which he will record and communicate.

Culper Senior’s station will be on Long Island to receive and transmit Culper Junior’s intelligence…

In a business this critical and dangerous, there is little need to recommend extreme caution and secrecy.

“Culper, Jr.”

Townsend did not waste time in trying to launch his spying operations, sending his first dispatch on June 29, 1779, just nine days after Woodhull informed Washington that he had a contact in New York.

The first piece of intellect was disguised as a letter between two Loyalists. Townsend stated in it that he did learn from a Rhode Islander who collected data from British troops that two British divisions “are to make an excursion into Connecticut… and very soon.”

Discovering a counterfeiting plot

One of Townsend’s most essential and unforgettable discoveries concerned a British plan to ruin the American economy by flood disaster it with counterfeit dollars.

American military and political leaders were well aware of these motives and were well aware of the consequences of a worthless dollar. Townsend received information in early 1780 that the British did believe the war would be over soon due to a disastrous devaluation of the dollar.

The British had acquired “several reams of paper made for the last emission struck by Congress,” according to Townsend’s report.

That was bad news for American leaders because the British had been forced to counterfeit money on paper that looked like official paper but now had authentic paper. As a result, differentiating between real and counterfeit money would be nearly impossible. As a result, Congress was forced to recall all of its circulated bills, a significant deal that saved the war effort by stopping counterfeit money from flooding the market.


Townsend notified his superiors of the existence of spies in their midst. He once alerted Benjamin Tallmadge that Christoper Duychenik was a spy for New York City Mayor David Mathews.

Townsend warned Mathews that he was under the command of Governor William Tryon. Townsend also assumed that if the men did learn about the intelligence report, they would instantly suspect him, implying his possible ties to high-level officials.


After the French cooperated with the colonists in the war, a French fleet was timed to land and disembark troops at Newport, Rhode Island. The issue with that strategy was that the British controlled Long Island and New York City, as well as a huge proportion of Long Island Sound. The British learned of the French plans and began preparing to intercept the smaller French fleet before the French soldiers arrived.

Through the Culper Spy Ring, Washington learned of the British plans and thus did manage to dupe the British forces into believing that an attack on New York City was planned by feeding the enemy false information about his plans.


A series of events prompted Townsend to become highly suspicious, prompting him to take extreme caution when it came to spying.

James Townsend, his nephew, was involved in one of them. After a brief spat between Washington and Woodhull, James took over as the new courier between Robert and Tallmadge. James claimed to be a Tory who was visiting relatives in rebel-held territory and was looking to recruit men for the British Army.

When James paid a visit to the Deausenberrys, he played the part persuasively enough to convince the secret Patriots that he was a Tory. James was dragged to the local Patriot headquarters by John Deausenberry, but after Washington’s personal intervention, he was released.

Another event involved the arrest of Hercules Mulligan, who had switched sides from the Patriots and was now serving the British. Mulligan eventually became a Culper Ring agent and was in control of a number of intelligence reports.

Mulligan was arrested for inciting anti-British sentiment, and Arnold arrested him for having questionable American contacts. Although he was released after no evidence pointed to him being a spy, Mulligan’s brief confinement convinced Townsend of the dangers he faced. Tallmadge rerouted Culper Ring activities away from clandestine work in New York and toward tactical intelligence for Tallmadge’s dragoons.

Final Report

The Culper Ring became less essential to Washington as the war progressed and American forces focused on Yorktown and Lord Charles Cornwallis. Even after the British Parliament overruled King George III and did order an armistice, Washington remained skeptical of British intentions. According to reports, British forces in New York had continued to strengthen their lines. Nonetheless, Culper’s activity was limited and ended abruptly.

When a British delegate showed up in Paris in 1782 to discuss peace talks, Washington reinstated the Ring. On September 19, 1782, in response to the request to reactivate, Townsend wrote what was most likely his final report:

The last packet… has indeed brought the clearest Proof that America’s independence is to be recognized unconditionally and that no conditions will be imposed on those who have joined the King’s Standard… Sir Guy himself believes it is not improbable that the next Packet will bring orders for the evacuation of New York.

A fleet is preparing to sail for the Bay of Fundy around October 1st to transport a large number of refugees to that quarter… Indeed, I have never witnessed such widespread distress and discontent in my life as can be seen in the expressions of every Tory at N.Y.

Later life

Townsend ceased his business connections in New York after the war and returned to Oyster Bay. He never wedded and grew up in the same house as his sister Sally.

Townsend most likely had a son, Robert Townsend, Jr., but the child’s mother is unknown. Townsend’s housekeeper, Mary Banvard, to whom Robert Sr. left $500 in his will, is one possibility. Another possibility is that the mother is a member of the Culper Ring known only as Agent 355, but this is unlikely.

Indeed, it is arguable whether Robert, Jr. was Townsend’s son at all. Solomon Townsend once tried to claim that his brother William was the father.

Townsend died on March 7, 1838, at the age of 84, and took his “Culper” identity with him to the grave. Morton  Pennypacker, a New York historian, discovered Samuel Culper,  Jr.’s identity only in 1930.

Townsend Net Worth

Robert Townsend is an American actor, comedian, film director, and writer well-known for co-creating and starring in the 90s television sitcom “The Parent ‘Hood” and has a net worth of $5 million.


Robert Townsend has had a successful career in acting, as well as writing, and he is simply one of the most successful multi-career men in the world.

With her level of hard work, it is expected that Robert Townsend’s net worth will rise in the future.

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