What is Bob McGrath’s net worth? Sesame Street actor dies age 90

Bruno Cooke December 5, 2022
What is Bob McGrath’s net worth? Sesame Street actor dies age 90

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Actor, singer, musician and children’s author Bob McGrath, best known for playing Bob Johnson in Sesame Street, has died at the age of 90 at his home, surrounded by his family, having accrued what might strike some people as a surprisingly modest net worth.

“Our father, Bob McGrath, passed away today,” they wrote on his official Facebook page. “He died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family.” 

In just three hours, the post has picked up more than 5K reactions and 600 comments. More than 12K people have shared it. 

And it has prompted a deluge of tributes and words of condolence to flood the social media platform, among others. There’s what we know about the late actor’s education, career and net worth.

Photo by ZACH HYMAN/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

What is Bob McGrath’s net worth? Sesame Street actor dies at the age of 90

Celebrity Net Worth lists Bob McGrath’s personal wealth as $2 million.

This may be lower than some people expect, given the salaries of some of McGrath’s contemporaries among the cast of Sesame Street.

He will have earned much of it from working on the show, although he had other incomes streams besides.

For 38 years, McGrath was a regular fixture on Telemiracle, a telethon broadcast out of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. He also wrote several children’s books, including Uh Oh! Gotta Go! And OOPS! Excuse Me Please!

For what it’s worth, Net Worth Post‘s estimate of Bob McGrath’s net worth is significantly higher – $16 million – although it doesn’t provide any extra context or explanation as to how it reached the figure.

How Bob McGrath’s net worth stacks up against those of his Sesame Street neighbors

Caroll Spinney, who played Big Bird for decades, was earning as much as $300K per year as recently as 12 years ago – when he died in 2019 his net worth was reportedly $8 million.

Meanwhile, The Richest writes that Kevin Clash (aka Elmo) was rumoured to be making over $1 million per year

The outlet clarifies that it’s “not clear” how much of this was coming from Sesame Street, but other stalwarts of the long running show appear to have been making salary figures in the high six figures.

But it’s The Street’s (former) chief executive, Gary Knell, who earned the most – at least in 2010, The Richest adds. That year, he received almost $1 million in compensation. He has since left Sesame Workshop to become the new chief executive of National Public Radio. Today’s chief executive is Jeffrey D Dunn, who is reported to have a net worth of $20 million or more – up to 10 times greater than Bob McGrath’s.

What about those working behind the scenes at Sesame Workshop?

Those working at Sesame Workshop, the organization that produces Sesame Street, receive an average estimated annual salary of $118,352, according to Comparably.

The highest paid job position is general counsel. They get $244K, while salespeople earn $229K, customer support staff get just under $70K, and HR department employees get $94K. 

Sesame Workshop used to be the Children’s Television Workshop. It’s a nonprofit organization. Its headquarters are in New York City; Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett co-founded it in May 1968.

In the year 2014, Sesame Workshop’s total expenses amounted to $111.3 million, while its revenue was just $7 million short, at $104.7 million.

Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage

Bob McGrath house, career and family

As of 2019, McGrath had been a resident of Bergen County, New Jersey for 59 years. By his death, he’d been there over six decades.

First, he lived in Teaneck. Then in 2017, he and his wife Ann Logan Sperry moved to what North Jersey describes as a “handsome ranch house” in Norwood.

And for much of that time, the outlet adds, “he’s also had a second, equally important address: a street where sunny days sweep the clouds away.”

“Beyond question,” McGrath told the website, “Sesame Street was the number one thing of my life.” 

Before joining the show, he was in the army. Originally from Ottawa, Illinois, McGrath studied music at the University of Michigan before spending two years in Germany, performing with the Seventy Army Symphony Orchestra. In 1959, he obtained a master of music degree in voice, from the Manhattan School of Music. 

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Bruno Cooke has been a freelance journalist since 2019, primarily with GRV Media. He was an early contributor to The Focus, and has written for HITC, Groundviews and the Sheffield University newspaper – he earned his MA in Global Journalism there in 2021. He’s the Spoken Word Poetry Editor for The Friday Poem, and self-published his debut novel Reveries in 2019, which his mum called both a “fine read” and “excellent Christmas present”. Bruno has lived in China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and likes, among other things: bicycle touring, black and white Japanese films, pub quizzes, fermentation and baklava. In 2023, Bruno will set off with his partner on a round-the-world cycle.