What happened to Thomas James Burris, Karen Carpenter's husband?

What happened to Thomas James Burris, Karen Carpenter's husband?

Thomas James Burris is an American investor and real estate mogul. He became popular in the 1980s after marrying American singer-drummer Karen Carpenter. For many years, Burris has been at the center of conspiracy theories surrounding her demise. This article shares controversies encircling his marriage with Karen, her death, their divorce, and other details about them.

Thomas James Burris
Karen Carpenter takes a picture with real estate developer Thomas Burris at the Beverly Hills Hotel on their wedding day. Photo: Bettmann (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images


Burris Thomas James was not famous until he married someone considered an icon in American entertainment circles. To this date, many regard his late wife, Karen Carpenter, as one the greatest vocalists of all time.

Profile summary

Full nameThomas James Burris
Famous asKaren Carpenter's husband/widower
Date of birthNovember 30, 1940
Zodiac signSagittarius
Age82 years (as of 2024)
Height 5 feet and 11.5 inches (1.82 cm)
Former spouseThe late American singer Karen Carpenter
Former brother-in-lawAmerican singer Richard Carpenter
Net worth$1 million

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Thomas James Burris' biography

Burris Thomas James has led a quiet and private life since his wife's death. He also protects personal information from the public, including details about his family. For this reason, many have been curious about his whereabouts.

Who is Thomas James Burris?

Burris is an American business tycoon. Many also know him as the husband of the late singer Karen Carpenter.

How old is Thomas James Burris?

The American real estate businessman is 82 years old as of 2024. He was born on November 30, 1940.

Who was Thomas Burris' wife?

Thomas Burris' late wife, Karen Carpenter, was an American singer and drummer. She was born on March 2, 1950, in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Karen Carpenter and her elder brother, Richard Carpenter, formed The Carpenters music group in 1968. The vocal and instrumental artists produced distinctive soft music, making them the best-selling American pop group of the 1970s.

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What happened to Thomas James Burris, Karen Carpenter's husband?
Photo: canva.com (modified by author)
Source: Original

Many loved Karen's contralto vocals. Meanwhile, Richard played the piano and composed their songs. Their tenth studio and the final album (with her brother Richard) was titled Made in America. It was released on June 16, 1981, and reached No. 52 in the US and No.12 in the UK charts.

Eight months after her death, The Carpenters received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 12, 1983. In 1999, VH1 ranked the group at No. 29 on its 100 Greatest Women of Rock and Roll. Also, in 2010, Rolling Stone ranked the Carpenters No. 94 on its list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

When Karen was alive, The Carpenters won three Grammy Awards and achieved three #1 hits, five RIAA-certified platinum albums, and thirteen gold singles. They have sold over 100 million records worldwide to date.

How did Thomas Burris and Karen Carpenter meet?

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Karen Carpenter met Burris Thomas James at Chic Ma Maison Restaurant in 1980. He was a real estate developer and surveyor, while she already was an established singer.

Thomas Burris and Karen Carpenter's wedding

After dating for several months, Karen and Burris had a private wedding on August 31, 1980, in the Crystal Room of the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Burris was nine years older than Karen, and since he was not famous, magazines and dailies wrote many controversial stories about him. Nonetheless, most of the stories never had solid evidence.

For instance, reports claimed Burris was divorced and a father to an 18-year-old son but never unveiled the identities of his alleged first wife's name and son.

Burris Thomas James' late wife
Karen Carpenter wearing long black hair. Photo: @Fans of JUST MUSIC, @Conwayjl63 (modified by author)
Source: UGC

How long was Karen Carpenter married to her husband?

Karen and Burris' marriage lasted around 14 months. They wedded on August 31, 1980, and broke up in 1981. Although they did not publicly disclose reasons for separating, reports claimed the singer felt cheated when she discovered her husband's vasectomy.

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It was believed that she wanted children, but Thomas refused to reverse the vasectomy. Apparently, Karen Carpenter's husband had a vasectomy operation years before they met.

More reports claimed that the singer fell into debt and almost went bankrupt because Thomas overspent and misused her money on a luxurious lifestyle.

Because of these claims, many speculated that besides having health problems, marital issues and abuse from her husband stressed Karen and eventually contributed to her demise.

Thomas Burris and Karen Carpenter's divorce

Karen filed for divorce on October 28, 1982, while at the Lenox Hill Hospital but passed away before the court annulled her marriage. This is because the singer died three days before signing the divorce documents.

What happened to Thomas James Burris' wife?

On February 4, 1983, singer Karen Carpenter collapsed in her bedroom at her parents' home. Paramedics were called to the scene but could not save her life. She died from congestive heart failure caused by a longtime struggle with anorexia.

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Karen Carpenter's last public appearance was on January 11, 1983, at the gathering of past Grammy Award winners. The singer saw her brother for the last time on February 1, 1983, to discuss plans for a new Carpenters album.

Thomas Burris
Karen and her brother, Richard, pose for a portrait. Photo: GAB Archive
Source: Getty Images

Karen Carpenter's health condition

Carpenter began dieting while in high school. By September 1975, she weighed 91 pounds (41 kg). Fans were concerned about her appearance, but she refused to tell the public that she was suffering from an eating disorder called anorexia.

By late 1981, she underwent thyroid replacement treatment to increase her metabolism. In addition, the singer increased her consumption of laxatives, which caused food to pass quickly through her digestive tract. Because of this, she lost more weight.

Karen was placed on intravenous parenteral nutrition. Although the procedure enabled her to gain and maintain a relatively stable weight for the rest of her life, it strained her heart — which was already weak from years of battling anorexia.

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After death, her family established the Karen A. Carpenter Memorial Foundation to create public awareness about anorexia nervosa. The foundation would also raise money for research on anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders.

What happened to Karen Carpenter's will?

The singer allegedly revised her will in September 1981, about a year before she filed for divorce on October 28, 1982. Around four months after filing for marriage annulment, she passed away on February 4, 1983.

Who inherited Karen Carpenter's money?

Karen Carpenter left her marital home to her spouse, Burris. Meanwhile, most of her wealth — a fortune worth $5 million to $10 million — went to her family, Agnes Reuwer (mum), Harold Bertram Carpenter (dad), and Richard Lynn Carpenter (brother).

Since $1 in 1980 equals about $3.68 in 2024 (an increase of $2.68 over 43 years), the fortune Karen left her parents and brother equals $18 million - $36 million in 2024.

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Burris Thomas James' late wife
Karen and her brother, Richard Carpenter, pictured outside the Chinese Theatre, Graumans, in Hollywood, Los Angeles, on July 19, 1976. Photo: Kent Gavin
Source: Getty Images

Who attended Karen Carpenter's funeral?

About a thousand people attended the singer's burial at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, California. Some media reports claimed Burris Thomas James missed the burial, yet he did and even placed his wedding ring into Karen's casket. The singer's friends, Petula Clark, Dorothy Hamill, Olivia Newton-John, and Dionne Warwick, also made it to the burial ceremony.

What is Thomas James Burris' net worth?

Sources estimate Burris Thomas James' worth as $1 million.

What is Karen Carpenter's husband, Thomas James Burris, doing now?

The last time Burris was publicly seen was during Karen Carpenter's burial. He has led a private life since his wife's death. Hence, the public does not know whether he remarried, closed, or continued his real estate business.

Where is Thomas James Burris now?

The public wonders what happened to him because he is not on social media. Also, Thomas James Burris' photos are not available online. Many believe that since there is no record of Thomas James Burris' obituary, he is still alive but intentionally avoids the limelight.

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Thomas James Burris
Karen Carpenter performing on the ABC YV special "The Carpenters...Space Encounters." Photo: Peter Miller /Disney General Entertainment Content
Source: Getty Images

Facts about Thomas James Burris

  • He was nine years older than Karen Carpenter.
  • Burris was previously married before his marriage to Carpenter.
  • James had a son before marrying Karen.

Thomas James Burris has been absent from the public eye for decades. He does not give private information about his current life to the media, and it is also believed that the real estate mogul is not on social media.

Yen.com.gh posted Nicholas Podany's biography. The article reveals the untold story of this American actor, musician, songwriter, and YouTuber.

Podany played Albus Potter in the Broadway production Harry Potter and the Cursed Child from 2019 to 2020. He is also known for acting as Dave in Summertime Dropouts.

Source: YEN.com.gh

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