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

After a couple years he went back to his old school and even though his grades were dropping he still kept it together. Bill was starting to look up to comedians on the radio and the TV. They were comedians like Sam Levenson, Sid Caesar, and Carl Reiner. Even though his grades were poor in junior high, when he took the standardized tests he was accepted to Central High School, which was a school for all the gifted children in Pennsylvania. Now being six feet, he was on the high school football team. But in the first week of football he broke his arm. Since there were few blacks in the school and he was slightly a target of biggotous remarks he went back to getting attention by clowning around in class again. He was later sent to Germantown Highschool where all his neighborhood friends went. He was back with his friends but his grades started to drop. He was left back twice. He was also too old to participate in the city track meets (which he could easily win). Bill dropped out of high school. He went to be a shoemaker=s helper, but the shoemaker didn=t like it when he nailed the ladies heels onto the mens shoes!

Then Bill decided to join the Navy. There he found discipline and no room to joke around. He spent four long years in the Navy but he says that it made him more mature and able to control himself better. He was trained as a physical therapist. Helping men who lost their legs and arms, he finally realized how lucky he was. While in the Navy Cosby, enrolled in a correspondence course. By the time his four years in the Navy were up he had a high school diploma. He left the Navy at age 22 with a high school diploma and a new attitude. He was determined to go to collage. He did not have a lot of money though and that was a problem. Cosby had an idea. Because he was a good athlete in the navy and was on their track and field team, he tried to show off for athletics coaches in order to get a scholarship. He showed all his scores to Gavin White, a coach at Temple University. White let him in on an athletes scholarship to study physical education. 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 did not know it, it was his first step toward fame. He soon traveled to New York to test out his real comedy skills. 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 175 dollars a week at the Gaslight and was hired to perform at the Gate of Horn in Chicago. There he would make 200 dollars a week!

In 1963 Bill Cosby was making 500 dollars for one live performance. He soon signed a contract with Warner Brothers to make a comedy album called, ABill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow . . . Right!@ This album was a very big success. He was in Washington for comedy, and