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Bill Cosby – American Comedian

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    Bill Cosby Bill Cosby was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 12, 1937. He was the oldest of fourboys. He had three brothers, and their names were: James, Russell, and Robert. His father ran away nearChristmas time when he was very young and he had to get a job to help support the family. In school hewas the class clown and was sent to a special school for rowdy boys. In his new school his teacher wasMary Forchic. She saw that he was a great comedian and she put that into her lessons to make them moreunderstandable for Bill. She made the lessons fun for him and made it easier to learn. He said that shemade him what he is today.

    After a couple years he went back to his old school and even though his grades were dropping hestill kept it together. Bill was starting to look up to comedians on the radio and the TV. They werecomedians like Sam Levenson, Sid Caesar, and Carl Reiner. Even though his grades were poor in juniorhigh, when he took the standardized tests he was accepted to Central High School, which was a school forall the gifted children in Pennsylvania. Now being six feet, he was on the high school football team. But inthe first week of football he broke his arm. Since there were few blacks in the school and he was slightly atarget of biggotous remarks he went back to getting attention by clowning around in class again. He waslater sent to Germantown High School where all his neighborhood friends went. He was back with hisfriends but his grades started to drop. He was left back twice. He was also too old to participate in the citytrack meets (which he could easily win). Bill dropped out of high school. He went to be a shoemaker’shelper, but the shoemaker didn’t like it when he nailed the ladies heels onto the men shoes!Then Bill decided to join the Navy. There he found discipline and no room to joke around. He spentfour long years in the Navy but he says that it made him more mature and able to control himself better. Hewas trained as a physical therapist. Helping men who lost their legs and arms, he finally realized how luckyhe was. While in the Navy Cosby, enrolled in a correspondence course. By the time his four years in theNavy were up he had a high school diploma. He left the Navy at age 22 with a high school diploma and anew attitude. He was determined to go to collage. He did not have a lot of money though and that was aproblem. Cosby had an idea. Because he was a good athlete in the navy and was on their track and fieldteam, he tried to show off for athletics coaches in order to get a scholarship. He showed all his scores toGavin White, a coach at Temple University. White let him in on an athletes scholarship to study physicaleducation. He was maintained a B average and he felt proud of himself. Bill Cosby got a job working at a night club telling jokes. It was a small job but even though he didnot know it, it was his first step toward fame. He soon traveled to New York to test out his real comedyskills. He landed a job at the Gaslight, it was a popular comedy club. They paid him 60 dollars a week(which was a very lot for Bill). He went to school during the day and went to New York to work at night.

    Cosby dropped out of collage and went on to be a professional entertainer. He was now making 175dollars a week at the Gaslight and was hired to perform at the Gate of Horn in Chicago. There he wouldmake 200 dollars a week!In 1963 Bill Cosby was making 500 dollars for one live performance. He soon signed a contractwith Warner Brothers to make a comedy album called, Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow . . . Right! Thisalbum was a very big success. He was in Washington for comedy, and one day he was in a bowling alleyand met a girl named Camille Hanks. She was a psychology student at the university of Maryland. They fellin love. They got married fast in only a couple of months. He was now making 1,000 dollars for a singleperformance. In 1964 Bill Cosby made his first appearance on Johnny Carson’s, Tonight Show. That was thefirst of many appearances he would make there. He came out with his second album which made1,000,000 dollars. It was called, “I Started Out As a Child” and it was very successful. Cosby was selectedto play a spy on a TV show series called I Spy. The producer, Sheldon Leanord, was taking great risks inhaving Cosby playing this part. Racial issues were stirring in the 60’s and Cosby was the first BlackAmerican to have a major role on a very popular television series. Bill Cosby made a couple of movies too. They were not big hits and some totally crashed in thebox office. They were, A Man and Boy, Hickey and Boggs, and The Lilies of the Field. There were threemovies that Cosby was in that were hits. They were, Uptown Saturday Nights, Lets Do It Again, and APiece of the Action. He also went back to college at the University of Massachusetts. Then in 1984 Cosbyhad an idea. He would make a TV show family called the The Bill Cosby Show, staring the Huxtable family.

    A family with the father being a doctor, the mother a lawyer and five children like his own family. This showwas a hit and it was on TV for eight years. Over many years of his success Cosby has donated money tocharity and other causes and has lived a very good life. There are many fine qualities that I admire about Bill Cosby. Some of these things are Bill Cosby’ssense of humor the which I admire the most of all his good qualities. He is very funny and I want to be likehim some day. I also admire that Bill Cosby kept on trying at school and never gave up. Even though hedidn’t finish school the first time, he still went back until he was done. Finally I admire the fact that BillCosby and his wife donate money to charities and give money to schools and other organizations.

    Bill Cosby has paved the way for all black American performers to do their best without racism andhatred by any other racial group. This was an important thing to do because without him there might still beprejudice of Blacks in America. He was a leader, an athlete, and a scholar. His comedy has made us laughhis tragedies have taught us a lesson. He is definitely a good role model for all people to follow.

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