Bill Cosby, born on July 12, 1937 is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and author.
Cosby's start in stand-up comedy began at the hungry i in San Francisco, and was followed by his landing a starring role in the 1960s television show I Spy. During the show's first two seasons, he was also a regular on the children's television series The Electric Company.
Cosby was born on July 12, 1937 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is one of four sons of Anna Pearl (née Hite), a maid, and William Henry Cosby Sr., who served as a mess steward in the U.S. Navy. During much of Cosby's early childhood, his father was away in the U.S. armed forces, spending several years serving in the theater of war in World War II. As a student, he described himself as a class clown. Cosby was the captain of both the baseball team and the track and field team at Mary Channing Wister Public School in Philadelphia, as well as the class president. Early on, though, teachers noted his propensity for clowning around rather than studying. At FitzSimons Junior High School, Cosby began acting in plays as well as continuing his devotion to playing sports.
Cosby left Temple to pursue a career in comedy, lining up standup jobs at clubs first in Philadelphia and then in New York City, where he appeared at The Gaslight Cafebeginning in 1961. He booked dates in cities such as Chicago, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Washington, D.C.. He received national exposure on NBC's The Tonight Show in the summer of 1963. This led to a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records, who, in 1964, released his debut LP Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow...Right!, the first of a series of comedy albums. His album To Russell, My Brother, Whom I Slept With was number 1 on Spin Magazines list of "The 40 Greatest Comedy Albums of All Time", calling it "stand-up comedy's masterpiece".