"My paternal grandfather told wonderful stories that were a combination of "The Aesop Fables" and "The Bible" ... and the stories had humor ... and that made me like him very much. Therefore, I made humor and storytelling parts of my personality". - Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby or William H. Cosby Jr is one of the world's most popular and respected entertainers. He is a well-known American comedian, producer and an activist.
1937 - 1962 - William Henry Cosby, lovingly known as Bill Cosby, was born on July 12, 1937 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Anna and William H. Cosby Sr. He had three siblings. He attended Mary Channing Wister Elementary School. He was very active in sports and also in acting out plays during his school days. Before and after school hours he worked at a supermarket, and at times shining shoes to support his family. He failed in his tenth grade and instead of repeating the grade, he worked as an apprentice at a shoe repair shop to help out his family. Eventually, he joined the American Navy. He served at the Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia and at the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.
In the meantime, he completed his high school education through a correspondence course. In 1961, he was awarded the "Track and Field" athletic scholarship to the Temple University in Philadelphia. To pursue his career in humor and comedy, Bill Cosby left for New York. In 1962, he appeared at Gaslight Café in New York to enact a comic play. Carl Reiner, a Hollywood actor, discovered him.
1965 - 1968 - Cosby became the first African-American actor to star in a weekly television series called "Spy I". He won three Emmy awards for his acting as an undercover Central Intelligence Agency agent in this serial. In 1965, he married Camille Hanks. They have five children.
1969 -84 - During this time span, he acted in the television series like "The Bill Cosby Show",(1969-71); "The New Bill Cosby Show", (1972-73) and "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids", (1972-1984). He became interested in education and lives of children in the serial "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids". He applied for higher studies and was awarded a degree from the University of Massachusetts. This education helped to incorporate many of his ideals and ideas in his future works.
1985 - 1987 - "The Cosby Show" won the Golden Globe Award in 1985 and 1986. He was awarded the "Spingarn Medal" by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for outstanding achievement. In 1986, Cosby broke the 53-year-old attendance record for his concert appearance in Radio City Music Hall. In the same year, his book "Fatherhood" became the fastest selling book of all time. He won Grammy award for " Those of You With and Without Children" and "You will Understand" in 1987.
1992 - 1998 - In 1992, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. In May 1997, he was honored with an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1998, he was awarded the "The Kennedy Center Honors".
2002 - Bill Cosby was awarded the " Presidential Medal of Freedom". This award is one of the two most prestigious civilian awards of the United States. Cosby received an Honorary Doctorate from Haverford College in May 2002.
2003 - He received an Honorary Degree from Sisseton Wahpeton College for his contribution to minority children. William Harjo LoneFight, President of American Native Services, presented it. The same year on September 4th, he was honored with an Honorary Doctorate from Baylor University.
2004 - Cosby was bestowed with an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Berklee College of Music.
2005 - In 2005, He was voted one among the top fifty comedians in British poll.
Bill Cosby was one of the famous African-American who will remain in the hearts of not only the Americans but also in the hearts of millions of people of other nationalities. He has received more than thirty awards for his various works. He supports various charitable associations and actively participates in the causes regarding child education.