His sense of humor and warm, open personality have touched the lives of Americans for nearly forty years. Whether through his stand-up, his endlessly popular sitcom, or his philanthropic work, Bill Cosby has left an impression on countless individuals, groups, and organizations over the course of his wildly successful career. Born in Philadelphia in 1937, Cosby spent his adolescence splitting his time between athletics, acting, and part-time jobs. During college at Temple University, he supported himself as a bartender in local bars where he tested out his comedic skills on patrons and quickly learned that his brand of humor was well-received. He left college before graduating to pursue a career as a comedian and worked successfully in stand-up gigs in New York and around the country for several years before landing his first big acting gig on the sitcom, I Spy. A passionate advocate on behalf of education, Cosby managed finish his studies and earn his degree in Education from the University of Massachusetts, even while maintaining a burgeoning career in entertainment. In the 1980s, Cosby's career snowballed and he became recognized as a trailblazer among African Americans in entertainment. Beginning in 1984, Cosby starred in his own show, aptly titled The Bill Cosby Show, which ran for nearly a decade and today is considered an American classic. His television roles catapulted the popular and well-known Cosby into superstardom, and in the years since he has become a sought-after lecturer, published author, producer and social activist. Having earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002, the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award in 2003, and nearly a dozen honorary degrees from universities around the country, Bill Cosby's admirable achievements are nothing short of spectacular.
"Civilization had too many rules for me, so I did my best to rewrite them."
"People can be more forgiving than you can imagine. But you have to forgive yourself. Let go of what's bitter and move on."