Our Biography of Bill Cosby tells Facts on his Childhood story, Early Life, Parents, Family, Girlfriends/Wife/Affairs, Children, Religion, Net Worth and Personal Life.
It’s an in-depth analysis of his life story beginning from his early days right until when he became famous.
You just could have seen him on TV or heard about him at other times. Just like Steve Harvey, he is one of America’s 50th best stand-up comedians of all time.
Popularly called ‘America’s TV Dad,’ Bill also is a TV producer, author, and an actor who is best known for his role as Cliff Huxtable in The Cosby Show. Feel safe even as we unfold and furnish you with the captivating biography of Bill Cosby.
Bill Cosby Childhood story:
For Bio starters, his full names are William Henry Cosby Jr. Bill Cosby as he is nicknamed was born on the 12th day of July 1937 to his mother, Anna Pearl Cosby and father, William Henry Cosby, Sr in the City in Pennsylvania, United States.
We know the famous black comedian to have exhibited a trace of being hilarious even as a child. Bill Cosby loved sports and always joked around; such that even studying became an uphill task.
Little did his friends and family perceive his funny attitude to be the start of what would announce him to the world.
As a child, Cosby loved comedy radio shows. He always listened to them, as would say to the Los Angeles Times. He also excelled at making things up.
Even one of his teachers at school noted saying that William should either find acting or become a Lawyer since he could tell lies excellently.
Sadly, at 8, Cosby suffered a significant loss when his brother James, the second oldest of the boys, died.
Bill Cosby Family Background:
The entertainer’s household, though not the rich type, just possessed little to manage. Bill Cosby is part of a conventional family with a father, mother and is the eldest amidst his other three (3) brothers. He had a maid as a mum and an absentee Dad.
Bill Cosby Family Origin:
Just like many blacks in the US, ‘America’s TV Dad’ and his household traced their ancestry to the time of the slave trade.
The ancestor is named Maria. Bill Cosby’s descent from Maria was discovered in 1985 after they commissioned a genealogist to undertake in-depth research on his origin.
He is a sixth-generation descendant of the said slave named, Maria. The investigation identified Zachariah “Zach” Cosby as Bill Cosby’s Great grandfather. Meanwhile, Zack Cosby’s parents and grandparents are known to be Sam Thomas Cosby and Maria, individually.
Considering that the famous comedian is of African descent, make him afro-American. And because of birth, Bill Cosby hails from the charming Germantown neighborhood; Northwest area of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, US.
Bill Cosby Education:
Before advancing to the career build-up of our focus personality, let’s look at the schools he attended. Bill attended Central High School, Philadelphia, and Germantown High School, Germantown, Tennessee.
After the tenth grade, Bill Cosby became part of the Navy and then had to complete his high school via a correspondence course.
And while enlisted in the Navy, he passed a high-school equivalency exam, and after they awarded his discharge an athletic scholarship to Temple University in Philadelphia in 1961 to study Physical Education.
Bill Cosby Biography Story:
While still in high school, future America’s Dad catered for himself. He started shining shoes, worked at a supermarket, and was a bartender.
While at the bar, his easy-going style and witty jokes with the customers would suggest his choice as a stand-up comedian.
Bill Cosby Bio – Road to Fame:
The African American Star quit Temple University to entertain at the Gaslight Cafe in Greenwich Village, New York City.
He established a trademark comedic style characterized by a friendly, accessible stage persona with a relaxed, meticulously timed delivery.
At Twenty (26), Bill Cosby had his TV debut on The Tonight Show. He starred Johnny Carson. Soon enough, Cosby broke barriers when he became the first African American to star in a regular dramatic television series with his role as a government agent on ‘I Spy.’ The series ran for three (3) seasons and also earned him three (3) Emmy awards.
Bill’s other TV projects included several series of Bill Cosby Specials, the variety shows The New Bill Cosby Show (1972–73), and the situation comedy The Bill Cosby Show.
During the 1970s, he made regular appearances on the educational children’s series The Electric Company and the famous Sesame Street which led to his acclaimed cartoon series, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids (1972-1984).
The carton’s success influenced his return to college to earn a BA from Temple University (1970), and MA (1972) degrees from the University of Massachusetts.
Bill Cosby Biography – Rise to Fame:
The most successful work of the comic veteran; The Cosby Show, which appeared on NBC from 1984 to 1992 and is one of the most popular situation comedies in television history.
The show crossed cultural appeal and won several major awards. When the show had ended, Bill starred in the series known as Cosby from 1996 through to 2000.
His comedy records earned him eight Grammy Awards. They awarded Cosby a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts in 1977 and inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1984.
The year 2008, saw Bill releasing the hip-hop album called Cosby Narratives Vol. 1: the State of Emergency, it blended funk, pop, and jazz. Even though it had less profanity; of which he said is typical of lots of hip-hop music.
Cosby is most remembered for The Cosby Show (1984-1992), which he created and starred in. The captivating series displayed an affluent, intelligent, and successful Black American family.
It ranks as a popular series in American TV history. The year 1986, Bill Cosby became an author with the publication of the book titled, Fatherhood. He would further publish ten other books, all Bestsellers.
Bill Cosby: His fall from ‘America’s Dad’ (sexual assault allegations)
The Veteran has been the subject of publicized rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, and sexual battery accusations by many women since 2000.
His foremost accusations date back to the mid-‘60s. Cosby frequently denied the allegations, stating that the incidents are consensual.
Most of the alleged acts from those accusing him fell out of the limits of the statutes needed for a legal proceeding. In the wake of the allegations, almost everyone connected to and with the Cosby brand severed ties with him.
The court pulled reruns of The Cosby Show and other shows featuring Bill from being on air.
In 2015, Cosby became the subject of eight civil suits, which later rose to 33. The year 2018, on the 26th of April Pennsylvanian, Jury saw Bill Cosby guilty of 3 counts of sexual assault.
Following shortly, September 2018, the court sentenced Cosby to three to ten years at a state prison.
However, Bill was confined to a single cell in the administrative segregation at SCI Phoenix in Pennsylvania but later moved to the general population of the prison in January 2019.
However, in December of the same year, Bill lost the appeal that overturned his conviction. Cosby is serving a three to 10-year term for drugging and molesting Toronto woman Andrea Constand there in 2004.
Over 50 women accused the star of sexual assault or rape, but because of time limits on cases in the US, only one – Andrea Constand – took the case to criminal court.
Bill Cosby Marriage and family life turbulent for decades:
The star comedian and actor married his wife, Camille Olivia Cosby(nee Hanks) since 1964. The marriage has given rise to five (5) children.
They met on a blind date at a bowling alley in the spring of 1963. Cosby, at 25 years of age, appeared in the District of Columbia for a gig at a small club in his neighborhood; Georgetown. While Camille; a teenage University of Maryland student.
In 1971, seven years after their wedding, Bill and his wife remained committed to making their marriage work despite the distractions of Hollywood.
The parents of Camille Hanks worried she seemed too young. However, the couple began a long-distance relationship. The relationship was long since Cosby had returned to New York. The coming year, Camille would drop out of college.
Meanwhile, her parents, in reluctance, gave out their blessing to the 19-year-old Camille’s marriage.
Father Carl Dianda performed the wedding ceremony, in a large multipurpose hall at a Catholic church in Olney, Maryland.
Camille exuded an impressive appearance and ambiance at the ceremony. It’s recalled that Cosby introduced himself to the priest by handing him one of his comedic records.
It’s not clear how much Camille knew about Bill’s shady activities while at the Los Angeles years. Six (6) of the allegations against Cosby all dates back to the same period.
Carla Ferrigno, one of the victims, told KFI Radio that Cosby attempted assaulting her at his house in 1967.
And Kristina Ruehli, now a 71-year-old grandmother of eight (8) told Philadelphia Magazine that she believes Cosby drugged her two years earlier and forced her to perform oral sex on him when she awoke.
To separate her family from the destructive influence of Hollywood, Camille would move with their children to Shelburne Falls, Mass.
Meanwhile, Bill Cosby would shuttle between Los Angeles, where he would continue working, and the new family location. Unfortunately, the move allowed Bill Cosby to live a double-standard life.
With his wife practically 5,000 kilometers away, Cosby began an affair with Shawn Berkes, who he met at a Los Angeles nightclub. Berkes later confronted Cosby and said that she gave birth to his child.
The moment of that confrontation seems to coincide with Bill’s 10-year mark in marriage. Camille Cosby told Oprah Winfrey that her husband, including herself, had struggled some “selfish” behavior but opted to retain the recommitment to their relationship.
In a court case, over two(2) decades after Cosby’s affair, he testified that he paid $100,000 to keep his extramarital relationship secret. Berkes’ Daughter — Autumn Jackson, who looked like an adult — would serve a prison term for extortion.
Camille Cosby also made it clear in an interview with Winfrey, she admitted to haven known of the affair before the attempted extortion.
By 1992, Camille Cosby obtained a doctorate in education. She would go on to produce an award-winning play and Co-found a project to preserve African American history. Still, her professional interests are appreciated that of her husband.
Loads of Camille’s work had roots for her dissertation, which focuses on the impact and negative images of black people on TV have on the self-perception of young blacks.
Concerning her marriage, she wrote:
“Bill, and I were very young when we got married. Bill, 26, while I was 19. We had to get matured and learn what unselfish love entails, and we did. When we committed to each other passionately years ago, our marriage became healthy and solid. Also, we blossomed as individuals. Our marriage revolves around mutual love, respect, communication and trust.”
Bill Cosby Family Life:
It is said that members of a household are the single most important influence in the life of a child. The Cosby’s ended up living in the Richard Allen Homes, a low-income housing project. The children had less to expect from their parents. And so would have to work things out for themselves.
More About Bill Cosby’s Father:
The comedy protege had an absentee Dad. His names were William Henry Cosby Sr, born on the 9th of March 1913. In Virginia, US.
He was the son of his father, Samuel Cosby, and his mother, Gertrude Thornhill. He got married about 1936 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Bill Cosby, Jr’s mum.
At first, Cosby Sr could get by financially, but money slipped when he began drinking heavily. He served his country as a sailor in the U.S. Navy. As a result, was seldom around. Bill grew up acting as a parent to his brothers. He passed away in 1974.
More About Bill Cosby’s Mother:
With money tight for the family, the only way out was to get a job, not minding how demeaning and demanding it was.
Cosby’s mum, Anna Pearl, became a maid to help sustain her home. Despite their hardships, she stressed the value of education and learning.
She would often read books to Bill Cosby and his brothers. The books also include the Bible and also the works by Mark Twain.
Bill also a talented storyteller himself, learned early enough that humor could be a means to making friends and get what he desired.
More About Bill Cosby’s Children:
The long-time marriage of the celebrity comedian has produced Five (5) kids. The firstborn being Erika, born in 1965; followed soon by Erin, born in 1966. His other children Ennis, Ensa, and Evin were also born in 1969, 1973, and 1975 thus.
Erika Ranee Cosby, the first amongst them, is a contemporary American painter and was an adjunct professor of Art at New York University. Erinn Chalene Cosby, the second child is a Professional Photographer.
Meanwhile, Evin Harrah Cosby who is the youngest is a luxury boutique owner and the inspiration for Rudy Huxtable on the program The Cosby Show.
Badly, Bill and his wife lost two of their children. Ennis the only son, while at 27, got murdered on the 16th of January 1997 in an attempted robbery while he was changing a flat tire on the side of the interstate.
Also, their daughter Ensa died of renal disease while awaiting a kidney transplant on the 23rd of February 2018.
The Cosbys have got three (3) grandchildren. Out of the three, Evin has two (2) children; whereas the late Ensa has one (1) child.
More About Bill Cosby’s Siblings:
The astute comedy personality has three (3), brothers. Their names include the following; Russell Cosby, James Cosby, Robert Cosby.
Dyslexia runs in the Cosby family. Bill didn’t inherit it, but his brother Russell Cosby did (not finding out until he was an adult).
Sadly enough, James died at six years of age; when Bill was eight (8). Bill Cosby, Ph.D. and his siblings enjoyed value education from their mother.
More About Bill Cosby’s Relatives:
For one as old as Eighty-three (83) years with brothers and in-laws, he should have relatives too. The known few of his relatives include the following. Martin McLean, who is Bill’s son-in-law; Ensa’s husband. Martin also helped raised Ensa’s daughter.
Merisa Parson Davis is Bills Cousin. She is a Christian book author and Women’s conference speaker. Merisa always speaks in defense of her cousin Cosby.
Braxton Cosby, who runs Bills company, Cosby Media Productions, is an award-winning sci-fi novelist, personal trainer, actor, and entrepreneur. We know him for ‘The Snare’, ‘Triumphant’ (2017) and ‘Rock and a hard’; a Christian-oriented film.
Braxton is Bill Cosby’s nephew and has not failed to show his unflinching support throughout Bill’s trials. He toured with his uncle, Bill Cosby, in 2012 when both were promoting new books. Braxton lives in Atlanta with his wife and three children.
Bill Cosby Personal Life:
The veteran comedian is famous for routines that shows the hilarity of almost everything. Even from eating chocolate cake as breakfast to conversing with the mouth full of novocaine. A clear Democrat and very outspoken about the plight of the African-American community.
His hobbies include Playing Football and Baseball, Collecting fountain pens, and Postage Stamp Collection. Bill also enjoys fruit-filled Danish and Fried potatoes.
Bill Cosby Lifestyle:
Bill Cosby was once worth as much as $400 million, according to Money. His long career in TV and film gave him good fortune. In 1985, he earned approximately $1 million per annum for The Cosby Show. His sources of wealth were his professional career as Both comedian and actor.
The role he played as a spokesperson for brands such as Coca-Cola and Jell-O cashed in even more money, as did his stand-up performances.
He owns a BMW 2002 tii model from the 1970s. The tii is said to be the most desired model. The car’s worth starts at $26,800.
During the mid-eighties, Bill became the highest-paid figure in entertainment worldwide. According to Forbes, his earnings were topping $80 million. Despite after The Cosby Show came to an end, its creator continued to amass in more money. The show earned Bill about $1.5 billion for decades since it went off the air.
Bill Cosby Facts:
Even as we round up our childhood story and Biography article. It’s our pleasure to also present certain information you perhaps did not know regarding the 39th most powerful celebrity in Africa. Without further delay, let’s get the ball rolling.
Facts – #1: Bill Cosby’s Sons of Death
The year 1977, saw Bill Cosby’s only son, Ennis William, who is a doctoral candidate at Columbia’s Teachers College, who overcame dyslexia and planning a career teaching special learners got changing a tire after midnight in California along an isolated section of the freeway. He got shot and killed at age, 27.
Facts – #2: Bill Cosby’s Religion
Cosby was born into a dual-religion family: Methodist and Baptist. Surprisingly, Cosby isn’t all that religious. He says that he identifies with the 2 denominations.
However, when it comes to attending church, or otherwise demonstrating his faith, he’s better for an “absentee voter”.
Even as a career comedian, he doesn’t mind using religion and the Bible for jokes. He has sectioned off large portions of his book to cracking wise about the story of Adam and Eve, Noah, and a host of other biblical characters. Nevertheless, Bill Cosby is a Protestant Christian.
Facts – #3: A philanthropist
Over the years, Cosby has donated millions of dollars to support educational possibilities for African Americans, including a 1988 donation of $20 million to Spelman College, the largest single gift to any HBCU.
Bill and his wife, Camille in 1997, founded the Hello Friend/Ennis William Cosby Foundation in memory of their son to fund teachers of students with learning disabilities.
Facts – #4: His Famous Quote
“I don’t know the key to success,” says Bill Cosby. “But the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
Facts – #5: Other Bill Cosby Facts:
All of his children have names beginning with an E, to represent excellence we guess. He has been nominated for 17 Grammy Awards and has won nine. Also nominated for eight Primetime Emmy Awards and won four. And many other awards including the lone sailor award.
Bill Cosby’s wife, Camille has been married to the standup comedian for over 50 years and still counting. Meanwhile, Phylicia Rashad who has played Cosby’s wife in two television sitcoms; sources say that both women have never wavered in their support for Bill, whether in private or public.
We anticipate that you found it fascinating, reading our Bill Cosby childhood story. We saw how his sense of purpose and determination provided the much-needed opportunities that he required to become a star. And of course, the opportunities just like other Comedian took – eg- the likes of Ellen Degeneres were fully maximized.
Despite all of the harsh happenings that William Cosby Jr. (PhD) has had in his short stay on earth, the famous entertainer has set a legacy of comedy, TV acting work and characters—including Sesame Street—and has sustained a marriage that marked its 50th anniversary on the 25th of January, 2014. He and his wife have continued to be supporters of many institutions and charities.
Haven said all that, it’s our delight that you do well to share your experience with us. Even as we continue to bring you more biography facts with top-notch accuracy and fairness; rain, come shine. Stay connected!