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Honoring:  Mr. Bill Cosby

Originally Posted: March 8, 2007 @ 12:45 am

Philadelphia Pennsylvania can lay claim to many performers, and on July 12, 1937 Philadelphia was fortunate to gain the incredibly talented William Henry "Bill" Cosby, Jr.

Bill Cosby was born to a respectable family, neither parent had any ties to the film industry.  Bill's mother Anna Pearl was a maid, and his father William Cosby Sr. was a sailor in the U.S. Navy. Bill and four other brother were raised in Philadelphia by mainly his mother.

As Bill Cosby matured, he showed responsibility in school as class president and captain of the baseball team.  Bill's education was only part of his teen life, he also held down jobs before and after school to help his family with the financial responsibilities.  Unfortunately Bill's studies did suffer and he eventually left school to work full time.  After joining the Navy, Bill did complete his education through correspondence courses and earned his high school equivalency diploma.

In 1961, Bill Cosby attended school at Philadelphia's Temple University on a track and field scholarship.  Before he could earn a BA, he took a detour from education and went on to be a stand up comic at various clubs in Philadelphia and later moved. In 1962, Bill moved to New York city where he appeared at the Gaslight Cafe.

As a comedian, Bill was gaining quite a success.  By 1963, Bill had worked his act in many clubs across America and starred in the Tonight Show for NBC.  Not much time had passed when in 1964, he released his very first comedy album labeled "Bill Cosby is a Very Funny Fellow ... Right!".

Bill Cosby is a man that lives life at the speed of a go train.  From being a student at Temple University in 1961, to a reputable comedian, starring on the Tonight Show by 1963, he also managed to wed the very lovely Camille on January 25, 1964.  Bill met Camille in Washington DC where she was a student at the University of Maryland and he was in Washington D.C. doing comedy. Marriage didn't seem to slow him down much as he continued to excel as a performer but in a different character.

By 1965, Bill Cosby had his first major television role in the series, ?I Spy?, that aired till 1968. Until now, I had never seen that show and the little blurb I did see of it was really interesting. Bill Cosby's appearance in I Spy was the very first time that an African American co-starred along side with a white actor.  The fact that he was able to make such a difference and the unspoken rule was changed, is a statement as to Bill Cosby's talents as an actor.

Bill Cosby was showing great stride as an actor, however he still fostered his dreams of finishing his education and earning his B.A.from Temple University. Much like any other dream Bill had, there was no stopping him and nothing could slow him down.  In 1972, Bill had earned his B.A. and an M.A. Five years later, Bill Cosby earned his Ed. D. from the University of Massachusetts.

It is no doubt that Mr. Cosby well educated and a great actor, but the thing that makes him stand out so much, is the focus he puts on life and his ability to make it  understandable for the youth. I can remember watching the Fat Albert cartoon rerun every Saturday morning. At that time, I didn?t live here in the marsh but rather a city where life for a kid can be tough. After watching the cartoon characters from Fat Albert, it made me feel better knowing my life didn?t suck that much.

Fat Albert wasn?t the only medium that Mr. Cosby used to communicate with children/youths. Bill Cosby is known to many children as the Jello Pudding man. We can not forget the role he played in the popular educational show, ?The Electric Company.? All these contributions he made, the influencing he did for so long, has helped to form society, giving us the tools we need to challenge ourselves and our surroundings.  For years he guided children and made a difference.

Mr. Cosby isn?t just known as a celebrity but he has been credited for his education, the values he has tried to instill into children, and his depiction as a family man. His conduct in real life was not much different than the characters he played on television.

Mr. Cosby, kids may say the darndest things, but it took a man like you to show us the true value of the innocence in children.

Bill Cosby Movies

This article was modified on February 28, 2010

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