Bill Cosby
Actor, comedian, author, producer, musician, activist
Bill Cosby
William Henry "Bill" Cosby, Jr. is an American comedian, actor, author, television producer, educator, musician and activist. A veteran stand-up performer, he got his start at various clubs, then landed a starring role in the 1960s action show, I Spy. He later starred in his own sitcom, The Bill Cosby Show.
Biography
Bill Cosby's personal information overview.
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Relationships
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News
News abour Bill Cosby from around the web
Defamation suit against Cosby dismissed
CNN - 2 days
A federal judge in Massachusetts dismissed a defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby by Katherine McKee, an actress who claimed he raped her in 1974, according to court documents.
Article Link:
CNN article
Judge tosses out defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby
ABC News - 3 days
A federal judge in Massachusetts has dismissed a civil defamation lawsuit agains
Article Link:
ABC News article
Federal judge dismisses Mass. defamation lawsuit against Cosby
Yahoo News - 3 days
A federal judge in Massachusetts on Thursday dismissed a defamation lawsuit against Bill Cosby by an actress who claimed he raped her, ruling that the comedian acted within his rights when he proclaimed himself innocent of the crime. The civil lawsuit is one of a slew of cases brought against the actor, best known for playing the father in the 1980s television hit "The Cosby Show," by about 50 women who say he sexually assaulted them, often after plying them with drugs and alcohol, in a series of alleged attacks dating back decades. The vast bulk of the claims are too old to be the subject of a criminal prosecution, though Cosby is also awaiting trial in Pennsylvania on charges he sexually assaulted a former basketball coach at his alma mater, Temple University.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
Great African Americans as Honored by President Donald Trump
Huffington Post - 17 days
(Some of the following are actual quotes; some are alternatively so.) 1. Frederick Douglas "Someone who has done a terrific job that is being recognized by more and more people." 2. George Washington Carver "Where would we be today without the cotton gin? Especially after we couldn't count on... oh, never mind. Fake news!" 3. Rosa Parks "What the hell is a public bus?" 4. Booker T. Washington "I look up to Booker T. Washington; I really do. He was a businessman, and he was an advisor to presidents. You guys wouldn't believe how powerful those dudes are." 5. Phyllis Wheatley "I don't know much about poetry or writing poetry or being a poet, but I think we can all admire the strength it took for Wheatley to overcome racism and get a job appropriate for women." 6. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago when somebody said I took the statue out of my office. And it turned out that that was fake news. The statue is ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Bill Cosby judge to hear defense request for outside jurors
Yahoo News - 18 days
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby's lawyers will make oral arguments this month on their bid to move the actor's sexual assault trial to another Pennsylvania county.
Article Link:
Yahoo News article
D.C. eatery paints over mural featuring Bill Cosby, Obama
Fox News - 24 days
Article Link:
Fox News article
WILL DUR$T'$ 2016 XMA$ GIFT WI$H LI$T.
Huffington Post - about 1 month
Relax. Now breathe. And repeat. The nonstop madcap insanity has finally reached its red and green holiday crescendo and its all downhill from here. Don't know if it had anything to do with the earth- shaking, democracy- twisting events of November 8th, but people were extra special amplified crazy this particular solstice season. Like frothing- at- the- mouth wacky. Hair- tearing bonkers. Nuttier than the Planters Hospitality Suite at a Flying Squirrel Convention crazy. So while we salute all you stalwart consumers for navigating those Demolition Derby parking lots in the honorable quest of sinking heavily into debt to celebrate the birth of that Jewish hippie kid; anticipating the flash of horror across your face when the bills float in from the mail, let us offer up our annual WILL DUR$T'$ XMA$ GIFT WI$H LI$T. These are the presents that folks presumably did not find under their tree but most certainly deserved. For Vladimir Putin: one of those extra long telescoping leashes ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Cosby Lawyers Ask Judge to Change Trial Location
NYTimes - about 2 months
Bill Cosby’s lawyers said publicity about the case had tainted any prospective jury in Montgomery County, Pa., where the trial is to start in June.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Bill Cosby Files for Change of Venue in Assault Case
ABC News - about 2 months
Cosby's team wants the case moved out of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
Article Link:
ABC News article
The Media Wants To Quash Casey Affleck’s Oscar Chances, But It’s Too Late
Huffington Post - 2 months
It’s no coincidence that RadarOnline waited until Casey Affleck took home a Critics’ Choice Award and was about to earn a Golden Globe nomination to rehash the details of the sexual harassment allegations filed against him in 2010. Even though the suit was settled and the “exclusive documents” Radar obtained are, in fact, the same documents that multiple outlets have been reporting for months, the website was presumably waiting for the right moment to strike. In a fairly unprecedented phenomenon, the media appears to be using awards contests as cause to audit celebrities’ morality. We’re seeing that dynamic play out with Affleck, an Oscar front-runner for his performance in “Manchester by the Sea,” one of the year’s indie hits. A Mashable story from September that renewed the attention surrounding Affleck’s case weighed the actor’s awards odds and questioned why “no one” was discussing his allegations. With the 2017 Oscar race heating up over the past two months, the media’s scrut ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Is Bill Cosby a pathological abuser or a target of opportunists? Lawyers battle
LATimes - 2 months
Did Bill Cosby devise a plan to drug and rape women and secretly carry it out over the course of decades in the public eye? Or is he a popular entertainer being railroaded by opportunists with stale accusations and dubious motives? Lawyers laid out dramatically competing views of the comedian in...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Will more accusers be allowed to testify at Cosby's trial?
Reuters.com - 2 months
Bill Cosby arrives at a Pennsylvania court while a crucial legal battle continues in the comedian's sex assault trial -- as a judge considers whether to allow more than a dozen female accusers to testify. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
Article Link:
Reuters.com article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Bill Cosby
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 78
    In July 2016 it was reported that Cosby is now completely blind, as a result of keratoconus.
    More Details Hide Details During Autumn Jackson's extortion trial in July 1997, Cosby testified that he made private payments to Shawn Upshaw, a woman who had briefly been his lover in Las Vegas during the early 1970s. Upshaw later told Cosby that he was the father of her daughter, Autumn Jackson. Cosby denies being the father and said that he gave Upshaw a total of about $100,000 because he did not want her to publicly reveal the affair. Twenty-two-year-old Autumn Jackson was sentenced to 26 months in jail for trying to extort US$40 million from Cosby. In the trial and subsequent appeal, the courts held that Jackson's belief that she was Cosby's child—even if sincere—was irrelevant to the question of her guilt. The courts stated that the mere fact that she was Cosby's child would not have entitled her to the $40 million she demanded, and therefore the demand was extortionate, whether or not she believed herself to be Cosby's daughter. Although both Jackson and Cosby stated at various times that they were willing to undergo DNA testing to determine Jackson's paternity, the two sides never reached an agreement as to when and how to perform the test. After Jackson's conviction, Cosby provided a blood sample for testing, but Jackson refused to participate until after her sentencing.
  • 2015
    Age 77
    On December 30, 2015, Cosby was charged with sexual assault in Pennsylvania and a warrant for his arrest was issued.
    More Details Hide Details Cosby reported to court and was arraigned on the charge. On May 24, 2016, a Pennsylvania judge ruled that there was enough evidence for the case to go to trial. Cosby will remain free on $1 million bail until his trial. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years; the sentences could be served either concurrently or consecutively as determined by a sentencing judge, if Cosby is convicted. Cosby's trial is scheduled to start on June 5, 2017. In May 2004, after receiving an award at the celebration of the 50th anniversary commemoration of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling—a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court that outlawed racial segregation in schools—Cosby made public remarks critical of African Americans who put higher priorities on sports, fashion, and "acting hard" than on education, self-respect, and self-improvement, pleading for African-American families to educate their children on the many different aspects of American culture.
    In July 2015, court records from Andrea Constand's 2005 civil lawsuit against Cosby were unsealed and released to the public.
    More Details Hide Details In his testimony, Cosby admitted to casual sex, involving use of Quaaludes, with a series of young women, including an admission that his use of drugs in the 1970s was illegal. In the wake of the allegations, numerous organizations have severed ties with the comedian, and previously awarded honors and titles have been revoked. Reruns of The Cosby Show and other shows featuring Cosby have also been pulled from syndication by many organizations. More than a dozen colleges and universities have rescinded his honorary degrees. In an attempt to explain the backlash against Cosby, Adweek reporter Jason Lynch noted that the "media landscape has changed considerably—and has now been joined by the far-less-forgiving social media arena."
    Most of the acts alleged fall outside the statutes of limitations for criminal legal proceedings, but numerous civil lawsuits have been brought against Cosby. As of November 2015, eight related civil lawsuits are active against Cosby, including two that also target Cosby's lawyer and one that also implicates his wife and manager Camille Cosby. In a December 11, 2015 interview, Gloria Allred who is representing 33 alleged victims, said that there are more alleged victims who have contacted her and that some of those that had contacted her would be coming forward.
    More Details Hide Details
    In May 2015 he said, "I have been in this business 52 years and I've never seen anything like this.
    More Details Hide Details Reality is a situation and I can't speak."
  • 2014
    Age 76
    Cosby has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. In November 2014, Cosby said, in response to a question about the allegations: "I don't talk about it."
    More Details Hide Details Cosby has declined to publicly discuss the accusations in past interviews. However, he told Florida Today, "people shouldn't have to go through that and shouldn't answer to innuendos".
    Earlier sexual assault allegations against Cosby became more public after an October 2014 accusation as part of an onstage performance by comedian Hannibal Buress went viral, and many additional claims were made after that date. The dates of the alleged incidents span from 1965 to 2008 across 10 U.S. states and one Canadian province.
    More Details Hide Details
    On November 19, 2014, NBC scrapped Cosby's new show after accusations that he sexually assaulted women resurfaced.
    More Details Hide Details In July 2015, Deadline Hollywood Daily reported that Cosby's agency since 2012, Creative Artists Agency (CAA), stopped representing him in late 2014, leaving Cosby without representation in Hollywood. Cosby has been the subject of publicized sexual assault allegations. With the earliest alleged incidents allegedly taking place in the mid-1960s, Cosby has been accused by more than 50 women of either rape, drug facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, child sexual abuse, and/or sexual misconduct.
    On November 19, 2014, TV Land and NBC both ended their relationships with Cosby: TV Land announced that it was pulling reruns from its schedule and also removing clips of the show from its website.
    More Details Hide Details In December 2014, the Magic Johnson-owned Aspire removed the series from its lineup. In July 2015, broadcast network Bounce TV pulled reruns, and BET's Centric (another Viacom unit) stopped airing reruns. The show is still available on Hulu Plus.
  • 2010
    Age 72
    Cosby received the National Football Foundation's Gold Medal in 2010
    More Details Hide Details A new NBC show, that was scheduled for summer or autumn 2015, created by Mike O'Malley and Mike Sikowitz and to have been produced by The Cosby Show's Tom Werner, was set to feature Cosby as Jonathan Franklin, the patriarch of a multi-generational family. Reruns of The Cosby Show have been canceled as a result of the sexual assault allegations against Cosby. In 2011, Netflix added the entire series to instant stream, before removing it in 2012.
  • 2009
    Age 71
    In the summer of 2009, Cosby hosted a comedy gala at Montreal's Just for Laughs, which is the largest comedy festival in the world.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2007
    Age 69
    In May 2007 he spoke at the commencement of High Point University.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2004
    Age 66
    Cosby became involved with the foundation in 2004.
    More Details Hide Details For several years, he has been a featured host for its annual benefit, A Great Night in Harlem, at the Apollo Theater in New York City. Cosby has stated, many times in his stand up shows, that "kids these days don't know what the jazz is all about". Cosby is an alumnus supporter of his alma mater, Temple University, particularly its men's basketball team, whose games Cosby frequently attended prior to his arrest. He is also a member of the Omega Psi Phi fraternity; he was initiated in the fraternity's Beta Alpha Alpha graduate chapter in White Plains, New York, in 1988.
  • 2001
    Age 63
    In 2001, Cosby's agenda included the publication of a new book, as well as delivering the commencement addresses at Morris Brown College, Ohio State University, and at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
    More Details Hide Details Also that year, he signed a deal with 20th Century Fox to develop a live-action feature film centering on the popular Fat Albert character from his 1970s cartoon series. Fat Albert was released in theaters in December 2004.
  • 1999
    Age 61
    A series for preschoolers, Little Bill, made its debut on Nickelodeon in 1999.
    More Details Hide Details The network renewed the popular program in November 2000.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1995
    Age 57
    Cosby hosted a CBS special, Kids Say the Darndest Things on February 6, 1995, which was followed after as a full season show, with Cosby as host, from January 9, 1998 to June 23, 2000.
    More Details Hide Details After four seasons, Cosby was canceled. Its last episode aired April 28, 2000. Kids Say the Darndest Things was terminated the same year, and Cosby continued to work with CBS through a development deal and other projects.
    Cosby was hired by CBS to be the official spokesman of the WWJ-TV during an advertising campaign from 1995 to 1998.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1992
    Age 54
    After The Cosby Show went off the air in 1992, Cosby embarked on a number of other projects, including a revival of the classic Groucho Marx game show You Bet Your Life (1992–93) along with the TV-movie I Spy Returns (1994) and The Cosby Mysteries (1994).
    More Details Hide Details In the mid-1990s, he appeared as a detective in black-and-white film noir-themed commercials for Turner Classic Movies. He made appearances in three more films: Ghost Dad (1990), The Meteor Man (1993), and Jack (1996). In addition, he was interviewed in Spike Lee's 4 Little Girls (1997), a documentary about the 1963 racist bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama. Also in 1996, he started up a new show for CBS, Cosby, again co-starring Phylicia Rashād, his onscreen wife on The Cosby Show. Cosby co-produced the show for Carsey-Werner Productions. The show was based on the British program One Foot in the Grave. It centered on Cosby as Hilton Lucas, an iconoclastic senior citizen who tries to find a new job after being downsized and, in the meantime, gets on his wife's nerves. Madeline Kahn costarred as Rashād's goofy business partner Pauline.
  • FORTIES
  • 1987
    Age 49
    In 1987, Cosby attempted to return to film with the spy spoof Leonard Part 6.
    More Details Hide Details Although Cosby himself was producer and wrote the story, he realized during production that the film was not going to be what he wanted and publicly denounced it, warning audiences to stay away.
  • 1984
    Age 46
    Cosby's greatest television success came in September 1984 with the debut of The Cosby Show.
    More Details Hide Details The program aired weekly on NBC and went on to become the highest ranking sitcom of all time. Cosby is an advocate for humor that is family-oriented. While working on The Cosby Show he held creative control, co-produced the series and involved himself in every aspect of production. Plots were often based on ideas that Cosby suggested while in meetings with the writing staff. The show had parallels to Cosby's actual family life: like the characters Cliff and Clair Huxtable, Cosby and his wife Camille were college educated, financially successful, and had five children. On the show, Cosby played the role of an obstetrician.
  • 1983
    Age 45
    Much of the material from the pilot and first season of The Cosby Show was taken from his video Bill Cosby: Himself, released in 1983.
    More Details Hide Details The series was an immediate success, debuting near the top of the ratings and staying there for most of its long run. The Cosby Show is one of only three American programs that have been #1 in the Nielsen ratings for at least five consecutive seasons, along with All in the Family and American Idol.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1976
    Age 38
    Some schools used the program as a teaching tool, and Cosby himself wrote a dissertation on it, "An Integration of the Visual Media Via 'Fat Albert And The Cosby Kids' Into the Elementary School Curriculum as a Teaching Aid and Vehicle to Achieve Increased Learning", as partial fulfillment of obtaining his 1976 doctorate in education, also from the University of Massachusetts.
    More Details Hide Details Subsequently, Temple University, where Cosby had begun but never finished his undergraduate studies, would grant him his bachelor's degree on the basis of "life experience." Also during the 1970s, Cosby and other African-American actors, including Sidney Poitier, joined forces to make some successful comedy films that countered the violent "blaxploitation" films of the era. Uptown Saturday Night (1974) and Let's Do It Again (1975) were generally praised, but much of Cosby's film work has fallen flat. Mother, Jugs & Speed (1976), costarring Raquel Welch and Harvey Keitel; A Piece of the Action, with Poitier; and California Suite, a compilation of four Neil Simon plays, were all panned. In addition, Cos (1976) an hour-long variety show featuring puppets, sketches, and musical numbers, was canceled within a year. It was during this season that ABC decided to take advantage of this phase of Cosby's career by associating with Filmation (producers of Fat Albert) in creating live-action segments starring Cosby for the 1964/1971 animated film Journey Back to Oz, which made its network premiere on Christmas 1976, and aired subsequently in syndication. Cosby was also a regular on children's public television programs starting in the 1970s, hosting the "Picture Pages" segments that lasted into the early 1980s.
  • 1972
    Age 34
    That series ran from 1972 to 1979, and as The New Fat Albert Show in 1979 and The Adventures of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids in 1984.
    More Details Hide Details
    In 1972, Cosby received an MA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was also back in prime time with a variety series, The New Bill Cosby Show.
    More Details Hide Details However, this time he met with poor ratings, and the show lasted only a season. More successful was a Saturday morning show, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, hosted by Cosby and based on his own childhood.
  • 1969
    Age 31
    Cosby pursued a variety of additional television projects and appeared as a regular guest host on The Tonight Show and as the star of an annual special for NBC. He returned with another series in 1969, The Bill Cosby Show, a situation comedy that ran for two seasons.
    More Details Hide Details Cosby played a physical education teacher at a Los Angeles high school. While only a modest critical success, the show was a ratings hit, finishing eleventh in its first season. Cosby was lauded for using African-American performers such as Lillian Randolph, Moms Mabley, and Rex Ingram as characters. According to commentary on the Season 1 DVDs for the show, Cosby was at odds with NBC over his refusal to include a laugh track in the show (he felt that viewers had the ability to find humor for themselves when watching a TV show). He was originally contracted with NBC to do the show for two seasons, and he believes the show was not renewed afterwards for that reason. After The Bill Cosby Show left the air, Cosby returned to his education. He began graduate work at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. For the PBS series The Electric Company, Cosby recorded several segments teaching reading skills to young children.
  • 1968
    Age 30
    CSC hired Artie Mogull as President of the label and Tetragrammaton was fairly active during 1968–69 (its most successful signing was British heavy rock band Deep Purple) but it quickly went into the red and ceased trading during 1970.
    More Details Hide Details
    In July 1968, Cosby narrated "Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed", a CBS documentary addressing the representation of blacks in popular culture.
    More Details Hide Details Andy Rooney wrote the Emmy awarded script for Bill Cosby to read. Michael Eric Dyson said it was one of "the rare exceptions when Cosby took off the gloves and blinders, to discuss race in public with candor and discernment." Due to its popularity and controversial nature, it was rebroadcast less then a month later. Tetragrammaton Records was a division of the Campbell, Silver, Cosby (CSC) Corporation, the Los Angeles-based production company founded by Cosby, his manager Roy Silver, and filmmaker Bruce Post Campbell. It produced films as well as records, including Cosby's television specials, the Fat Albert cartoon special and series and several motion pictures.
    In June 1968, Billboard reported that Cosby had turned down a five-year, US$3.5 million contract renewal offer and would leave the label in August that year to record for his own record label.
    More Details Hide Details
  • TWENTIES
  • 1967
    Age 29
    During the run of the series, Cosby continued to do stand-up comedy performances and recorded a half-dozen record albums for Warner Bros. Records. He also began to dabble in singing, recording Silver Throat: Bill Cosby Sings in 1967, which provided him with a hit single with his recording of Little Ole Man (Uptight, Everything's Alright).
    More Details Hide Details As a single, the song sold over one million copies in the U.S. (achieving "gold" status), and hit number 4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. He would record several more musical albums into the early 1970s, but he continued to record primarily stand-up comedy work.
  • 1965
    Age 27
    In 1965, Cosby was cast alongside Robert Culp in the I Spy espionage adventure series on NBC.
    More Details Hide Details I Spy became the first weekly dramatic television series to feature an African American in a starring role. At first Cosby and NBC executives were concerned that some affiliates might be unwilling to carry the series. At the beginning of the 1965 season, four stations declined the show; they were in Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. Viewers were taken with the show's exotic locales and the authentic chemistry between the stars, and it became one of the ratings hits of that television season. I Spy finished among the twenty most-watched shows that year, and Cosby would be honored with three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. When accepting his third Emmy for the show, Cosby told the audience: "Let the message be known to bigots and racists that they don’t count!"
  • 1964
    Age 26
    Cosby married Camille Olivia Hanks on January 25, 1964.
    More Details Hide Details Together, they have had five children, Erika, Erinn, Ensa, Evin, and Ennis. Their only son, Ennis, was murdered on January 16, 1997, while changing a flat tire on the side of Interstate 405 in Los Angeles. The Cosbys have three grandchildren. Cosby is a Protestant. He maintains homes in Shelburne, Massachusetts, and Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. Cosby has hosted the Los Angeles Playboy Jazz Festival since 1979. Known as a jazz drummer, he can also be seen playing bass guitar with Jerry Lewis and Sammy Davis, Jr. on Hugh Hefner's 1970s talk show. His story, "The Regular Way", was featured in Playboys December 1968 issue. Cosby has become an active member of The Jazz Foundation of America.
    Records, who, in 1964, released his debut LP Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow Right!, the first of a series of comedy albums.
    More Details Hide Details His album To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With was number 1 on Spin Magazines list of "The 40 Greatest Comedy Albums of All Time", calling it "stand-up comedy's masterpiece". While many comics of the time were using the growing freedom of that decade to explore material that was controversial and sometimes risqué, Cosby was making his reputation with humorous recollections of his childhood. Many Americans wondered about the absence of race as a topic in Cosby's stories. As Cosby's success grew he had to defend his choice of material regularly; as he argued, "A white person listens to my act and he laughs and he thinks, 'Yeah, that's the way I see it too.' Okay. He's white. I'm Negro. And we both see things the same way. That must mean that we are alike. Right? So I figure this way I'm doing as much for good race relations as the next guy."
  • 1963
    Age 25
    He received national exposure on NBC's The Tonight Show in the summer of 1963.
    More Details Hide Details This led to a recording contract with Warner Bros.
  • 1961
    Age 23
    Cosby left Temple to pursue a career in comedy, lining up standup jobs at clubs first in Philadelphia and then in New York City, where he appeared at The Gaslight Cafe beginning in 1961.
    More Details Hide Details He booked dates in cities such as Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Washington, D.C..
    He finished his equivalency diploma via correspondence courses and was awarded a track and field scholarship to Philadelphia's Temple University in 1961.
    More Details Hide Details There, he studied physical education while running track and playing fullback on the university's football team. As Cosby progressed through his undergraduate studies, he continued to hone his talent for humor, joking with fellow enlistees in the service and then with college friends. When he began bartending at a Philadelphia club to earn money, he became more aware of his ability to make people laugh. After using humor on his customers and seeing his tips increase, he then took his talent to the stage.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1956
    Age 18
    In 1956, Cosby enlisted in the Navy, serving at the Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Naval Station Argentia, Newfoundland and at the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.
    More Details Hide Details During his four years in the Navy, Cosby served as a Hospital Corpsman working in physical therapy with Navy and Marine Corps personnel injured during the Korean War.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1937
    Born
    Cosby was born on July 12, 1937 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    More Details Hide Details He is one of four sons of Anna Pearl (née Hite), a maid, and William Henry Cosby Sr., who served as a mess steward in the U.S. Navy. During much of Cosby's early childhood, his father was away in the U.S. armed forces, spending several years serving in the theater of war in World War II. As a student, he described himself as a class clown. Cosby was the captain of both the baseball team and the track and field team at Mary Channing Wister Public School in Philadelphia, as well as the class president. Early on, though, teachers noted his propensity for clowning around rather than studying. At FitzSimons Junior High School, Cosby began acting in plays as well as continuing his devotion to playing sports. Cosby went on to Philadelphia's Central High School, a magnet and academically rigorous university prep school where he played football, basketball, baseball, and ran track. In addition, Cosby was working before and after school, selling produce, shining shoes, and stocking shelves at a supermarket to help out the family. He transferred to Germantown High School, but failed the tenth grade. Instead of repeating, he got a job as an apprentice at a shoe repair shop, which he liked, but could not see himself doing the rest of his life.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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