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30 Little Known Things Every Fan Should Know About Bill Cosby

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Bill Cosby, with an active career as a comedian, spanning for over five decades, was convicted recently for a number of sex offenses, the earliest of which is said to date back decades. Here are some very interesting facts about the American stand-up comedian:

  1. He is one of the most popular personalities of America and for his life contribution to its culture was recognized with a ‘Kennedy Center Honor’ in 1988. He was also awarded the ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom in July 2002, America’s highest civilian honor.
  2. He was born William Henry Cosby Jr. on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Anna Pearl and William Henry Cosby Sr. He is the eldest of four children to his parents.
  3. Cosby attended Mary Channing Wiser Elementary School, the FitzSimons Junior High School, and the Central High School and finally was transferred to Germantown High School, Philadelphia. He is best remembered for his gift of comedy but was equally gifted in sports and play.
  4. He joined Navy in 1956 after he failed his tenth grade, as hospital corpsman with Marine Corps, Virginia and National Naval Medical Center, Maryland. He worked in physical therapy tending to Korean War casualty.
  5. While at service he earned his high school equivalent diploma through distant education course and on discharge he was offered sports scholarship at Temple University studying physical education.
  6. To support himself during his college days, he tended bar at night. The enthusiasm of his customers for his brand of humor helped him to his first stage appearance at a night spot called ‘The Underground’ in a small room called ‘The Cellar,’ for $ 5 a night.
  7. He pursued a career in comedy at clubs in Philadelphia and then in New York, where a club called ‘The Gaslight’ booked him for sixty dollars a week in 1961. He line up stand-up jobs in cities such as Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
  8. Cosby’s popularity rose with NBC’s ‘The Tonight Show’ in 1964, which led him to his debut LP record ‘Bill Cosby Is a Funny Fellow…Right.’ The 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.’
  9. In 1965, he featured in the NBC‘s weekly dramatic television spy series ‘I Spy,’ which finished among the twenty most watched show that year. He was the first Afro-American in lead role and went on to win three consecutive ‘Emmy Awards’ for ‘Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.’
  10. During the summer of 1968, CBS broadcast the documentary ‘Black History: Lost, Stolen or Stayed,’ was narrated by Cosby. The program was a sensation but very daring thing for him to do after the assassinations of Dr. King and Robert Kennedy and cities becoming charred ruins from racial riots.
  11. Cosby earned a Masters Degree in Education ( M. Ed ) in 1972 and his Doctorate in Education (Ed. D ) in 1977 from the University of Massachusetts. His thesis was titled ‘The Integration of Visual Media Via Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids Into the Elementary Schools Culminating as a Teacher Aid to Achieve Increased Learning.’
  12. He married the former Camille Hanks on January 25, 1964, while she was still a student at the University of Maryland. They had four daughters and a son.
  13. Cosby’s only son Ennis William Cosby was shot to death on January 16, 1997, while changing a flat tire on Los Angeles freeway ramp.
  14. In 2002, he was awarded the ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom’ by George W. Bush and in 2010; he received the lone Sailor Award by the United States Navy Memorial.
  15. Cosby’s first solo foray in television was ‘The Bill Cosby Show’ a sitcom that was aired for two seasons on NBC’s Sunday night schedule from 1969 until 1970. He was at odds with NBC over his refusal to include a laugh track in the show.
  16. The Saturday morning cartoon show ‘Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids’ on CBS were aired from 1972 to 1985. The show, based on Cosby’s remembrance of his childhood gang, was created, produced and hosted by him.
  17. He joined force with other Afro-American actors to make successful comedy films to counter ‘blaxploitation’ films of the era, such as ‘1974 Uptown Saturday Night,’ ‘1975 Let’s Do It Again,’ ‘ 1976, Mother, Jugs & Speed’ and the ‘A Piece of the Action.’
  18. His greatest television success came in NBC’s ‘The Cosby Show,’ which was aired for eight seasons from 1984 to 1992 and was rated number one in four of those. While co-producing with creative control, the show had parallels to Cosby’s actual family life.
  19. In the 1990s he embarked on number of shows such as ‘You Bet Your Life,’ the TV-movie ‘I Spy Returns,’ ‘Ghost Dad,’ ‘The Meteor Man,’ ‘Jack’ and ‘The Cosby Mysteries’ apart from being interviewed in Spike Lee’s ‘4 Little Girls,’ a documentary about the 1963 racist bombing of a church in Birmingham, Alabama.
  20. He delivered commencement addresses at several institutions including Morris Brown College, Ohio State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and at High Point University.
  21. In several of his speech he was highly critical of Afro-American parents who were continuing to fail to inculcate proper standard of moral behavior, emphasizing more on sports, fashion and ‘acting hard’ than on education and self respect.
  22. IN 1986, a book ‘Fatherhood’ attributed to Cosby was ghostwritten by humorist Ralph Schoenstein. The audio cassette edition of the book was also published by the Canadian National Institute for the blind.
  23. He was the first entertainer to win Emmy Award, the Mark Twain Prize and the Spingarn Medal. He was awarded three Emmys and nine Grammys.
  24. In November 2014, U.S. TV network NBC announced the cancellation of a proposed project with Cosby, after he was accused of sexually assaulting a model and TV presenter in 1982.
  25. Cosby has been the subject of highly publicized accusation of rape, drug facilitated sexual assault, sexual battery, child sexual abuse and sexual misconduct.
  26. The consequence of the sexual assault allegation resulted in many channels ending their relationship with Cosby. The TV Land removed clips and pulled out reruns of The Cosby Show and the Aspire removed the series from its lineup. The other networks, Bounce TV, BET’s Centric followed suit and his agency, Creative Artist Agency, dropped him as a client.
  27. In his testimony, Cosby admitted to casual sex, involving recreational use of the sedative methaqualone, with series of young women. Based on incidents in January 2004, he was found guilty and on September 25, 2018, was sentenced to three to ten years in state prison with fine of $ 25,000.
  28. The Autumn Jackson’s extortion trial in July 1997, went in favor of Cosby, when the Federal appeal panel overturned the conviction of a woman accused of trying to extort $ 40 million from Cosby reversed itself and reinstated the guilty verdict against her.
  29. Cosby was awarded around 70 honorary degrees and many other honors since 1985. Following sexual allegation several of his honorary degrees were rescinded or revoked.
  30. Dyslexia ran in Cosby family, though he was not affected. In 2016, his attorney reported that he is now legally blind.
  31. Bill Cosby Net Worth: $400 Million

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Bill Cosby

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