billcosby.jpgOVERVIEW
William H. Cosby Jr. was born on July 12, 1937, and is one of the most well known and highly respected stars in America today. Not only has his work brought smiles to the faces of millions of adults and children alike through his comedic character and bright personality, but he also touched many lives throughout his career. For over forty years, Bill Cosby's comedy has sought to provide a valuable perspective into America's role as parents, children, family members, and men and women. Through the respect that Cosby has gained from his comedy, he has been compared to many great american humorists, including Mark Twain.

EARLY LIFE
While in High school, Bill Cosby's teachers at Germantown High School recognized that he had a talent for clowning around in his classes, and cracking jokes that would make other students laugh. Although he was a class clown, he was very involved in sports. He played football, basketball, baseball, and also ran on the track team. He also worked as a shoeshine boy and stocked shelves at a local supermarket to help out his family. After failing the 10th grade, however, Cosby dropped out of school and became an apprentice at a shoe repair shop, but soon realized that he couldnt see himself working there for the rest of his life. Cosby join the navy instead, and served at the marine base in Quantico, Virginia and also at a naval Hospital in Maryland.
It was there that Cosby realized the importance of his education. He went back to school soon after and got his GED, and also recieved a large sports scholarship to attend Temple University, in Philidelphia, where he studied physical education. He continued to "clown around" and make his peers and co-workers laugh until he eventually decided to try stand-up comedy.

CAREER
Even though becoming a stand-up comedian was an unpopular decision with his parents, Cosby found work at many local bars and clubs in Philidelphia at the start of his career as a comedian. He moved to New York City and appeared at the 'Gaslight Cafe', in 1962. As he grew more and more popular, he found lots of work around America including his appearance on NBC's 'Tonight Show'. He released his first comedy album titled "Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow.....Right!", in 1964.

While still in his twenties, Cosby made appearances on many well-known television programs such as the "Ed Sullivan Show". His "big break" as a young star came in 1965 when he appeared as Alexander Scott in I Spy (1965), which won him numerous Emmys for his performance. Cosby became the first African American Actor ever to star in this weekly television drama series. He had his first television show in 1969, whenjello1.gif he starred as a teacher in the Bill Cosby Show. The show only lasted two years. His next idea involved creating a cartoon with characters based off of many of his high school buddies, Weird Harold, Dumb Donald, Mushmouth, and many more. This show, which was more of a reflection of Cosby's educational side was, of course, "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids". The 1970s were a huge decade for Cosby, as he starred in many successful films including Uptown Saturday Night (1974), A Piece of the Action (1977), Lets Do it Again (1975), and California Suite (1978). It was also around this time where Cosby became known for appearing in his famous JELL-O pudding commercials.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Cosby continued his education alongside his increasingly successful career. He recieved his doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts. Also, Cosby married his wife Camille in 1964, and gave birth to five children. Unfortunately however, his son Ennis was murdered in 1997, while changing a flat tire on a Los Angeles freeway.

THE COSBY SHOW and BEYOND
As soon as Fat Albert discontinued, Cosby began producing "The Cosby Show" in 1984, which would soon lead what many Americans called "the best night on television": which consisted of "Night Court", "Hill Street Blues", and "Family Ties". This show set groundbreaking records from 1985 to 1987 as it changed the view that many Americans had about white collar African American families of the late 1900s. Cosby soon became the driving force of television during the 1980s.
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After his success with "The Cosby Show", Bill continued to be dissatisfied with the way minorities were portrayed on television. This motivated him to create "A Different World" in 1987, which Cosby insisted would follow "The Cosby Show". This seriesis set in a historically black college university and emphesized young people and education.

In recent years, Cosby has been known as a very generous contributor to various causes and orgnizations. He is typically related to Spelman College, and his appearances at the sporting events of many young athletes. he was honored with the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award in 2003.
Bill Cosby has taught me, as well America as a whole, how important it is to follow the dreams that you feel are important to yourself, rather than what anyone else thinks is right for you. He will go down in history as one of the greatest enbill-cosby-little-bill-335a090507.jpgtertainers who ever lived.

WORK CITED
"Bill Cosby (1937-)". A&E Television Networks. June 1996 <http://www.biography.com/search/article.do?id=9258468>.

"Bill Cosby (1937-)". A&E Television Networks. June 1996 <http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001070/bio>.

Ghare, Madhavi . "Bill Cosby Biography". Buzzle.com Inc.. 4/22/2007 <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/bill-cosby-biography.html>.