S A Cosby Biography & Facts
William Henry Cosby Jr. (; born July 12, 1937) is an American stand-up comedian, comedian, actor, and author who had an active career for over six decades, starting in 1961. Cosby's greatest television success was the sitcom The Cosby Show which ran from 1984 to 1992.
Cosby began his career as a stand-up comic at the hungry i nightclub in San Francisco during the 1960s. Throughout the decade he released several standup comedy records which consecutively earned him the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album from 1965 to 1970. He also had a starring role in the television crime show I Spy (1965–1968) opposite Robert Culp. Cosby made history when he won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1966, making him the first African American to earn an Emmy Award for acting. His acting career continued as he starred in the sitcom The Bill Cosby Show, which ran for two seasons from 1969 to 1971.
In 1972, using the Fat Albert character developed during his stand-up routines, Cosby created, produced, and hosted the animated comedy television series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids which ran until 1985, centering on a group of young friends growing up in an urban area. Throughout the 1970s, Cosby starred in various films including Sidney Poitier's Uptown Saturday Night (1974), and Let's Do It Again (1975), and Neil Simon's California Suite (1978) alongside Richard Pryor. He also starred in the original cast of The Electric Company alongside Rita Moreno and Morgan Freeman from 1971 to 1973. In 1976, he earned his Doctor of Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, returning to the school after completing his Masters of Arts there in 1972. His dissertation discussed the use of Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids as a teaching tool in elementary schools.
Beginning in the 1980s, Cosby produced and starred in the television sitcom The Cosby Show, which aired from 1984 to 1992 and was rated as the number one show in America from 1985 through 1989. The sitcom highlighted the experiences and growth of an affluent African-American family. During this time, Cosby gained a reputation as "America's Dad" for his portrayal of Cliff Huxtable. Cosby produced the spin-off sitcom A Different World, which aired from 1987 to 1993. He also starred in The Cosby Mysteries (1994-1995), the sitcom Cosby (1996–2000) and hosted Kids Say the Darndest Things (1998–2000). He then created and produced the animated children's program Little Bill (2000–2004).
In 2014, Cosby became the subject of numerous sexual assault allegations which became highly publicized during the Me Too movement. In 2018, Cosby was convicted of aggravated indecent assault against Andrea Constand. He was imprisoned until the conviction was vacated in 2021 by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for violations of Cosby's 5th Amendment and 14th Amendment due process rights.
Cosby was born on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 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.Cosby was the class president as well as captain of both the baseball and track and field teams at Mary Channing Wister Public School in Philadelphia. Teachers noted his propensity for joking around instead of studying, and he described himself as the class clown. At FitzSimons Junior High School, Cosby acted in plays and continued to compete in sports. Cosby attended Philadelphia's Central High School, a magnet school and academically rigorous college prep school, where he ran track and played baseball, football, and basketball. He transferred to Germantown High School but failed the tenth grade.In 1956, Cosby enlisted in the Navy and served as a hospital corpsman at the Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia; at Naval Station Argentia in Newfoundland, Canada; and at the National Naval Medical Center in Maryland. He worked in physical therapy with Navy and Marine Corps personnel who were injured during the Korean War.Cosby earned his high school equivalency diploma through correspondence courses and was awarded a track and field scholarship to Temple University in 1961. At Temple, he studied physical education while he ran track and played fullback on the college's football team. He began bartending at a Philadelphia club, where he earned bigger tips by making the customers laugh. He then began performing on stage, and left his university studies to pursue a career in comedy.
Cosby lined up stand-up jobs at clubs in Philadelphia and then in New York City, where he appeared at The Gaslight Cafe beginning in 1961. He booked dates in cities such as Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. In the summer of 1963, he received national exposure on NBC's The Tonight Show. This led to a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records which, in 1964, released his debut LP, Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow...Right!, the first of a series of comedy albums. His album To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With was number one on Spin magazine's 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 controversial and sometimes risqué material, 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."In 1983, Cosby released the concert film Bill Cosby: Himself which is widely regarded as "the greatest comedy concert film ever". Younger, well-established comics like Jerry Seinfeld have credited Cosby as an innovator both as a practitioner of stand-up comedy, as well as a person who paved the way for comics to break into sitcom television. Seinfeld said of Cosby: "He opened a door for all of us, for all of the networks to even consider that this was a way to create a character, was to take someone who can hold an audience just by being up there and telling their story. He created that. He created the whole idea of taking a quote-unquote 'comic' and developing a TV show just from a persona that you see on stage." Comedian Larry Wilmore also saw a connection between Bill Cosby: Himself and the later success of The Cosby Show, saying: "It's clear that the concert is the template for The Cosby Show."Cosby performed his first TV stand-up special in 30 years, Bill Cosby: Far from Finished, on Comedy Central on November 23, 2013. His last show of the "Far from Finished" tour was performed at the Cobb Energy Performing Ar.... Discover the S A Cosby popular books. Find the top 100 most popular S A Cosby books.