Bill Cosby Fast Facts

CNN —  

Here’s a look at the life of comedian and actor Bill Cosby.


Birth date: July 12, 1937

Birth place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Birth name: William Henry Cosby Jr.

Father: William Henry Sr., US Navy mess steward

Mother: Anna (Hite) Cosby

Marriage: Camille (Hanks) Cosby (January 25, 1964-present)

Children: Evin, 1976; Ensa, 1973-2018; Ennis, 1969-1997; Erinn, 1966; Erika, 1965

Education: Attended Temple University, 1961-1962; University of Massachusetts at Amherst, M.A, 1972; University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Ed.D, 1977

Military service: US Navy, 1956-1960

Other Facts

More than 50 women have publicly accused Cosby of raping or assaulting them over the past 40 years. The comedian vehemently denied any wrongdoing. In April 2018, after two trials, Cosby was convicted of sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in a Philadelphia suburb in 2004. After appeal, his conviction was overturned based on violation of his right to due process.

Many organizations, including educational, advertising and media, have either rescinded awards and honors, or scrubbed Cosby’s name from their websites.

Television spokesman for Jell-O for more than 25 years, beginning in 1974.

All of his children have names beginning with an E, to represent excellence.

Nominated for 17 Grammy Awards and has won nine.

Nominated for eight Primetime Emmy Awards and won four.


1956 - Drops out of high school and enlists in the US Navy. During his time in the Navy, Cosby earns his high school diploma through a correspondence course.

1961 - Wins a track and field scholarship to Temple University. While at school, he gets his first job telling jokes while tending bar.

1962 - Leaves school and moves to New York City to work as a comedian at the Gaslight Café.

1963 - Releases his first recording, “Bill Cosby Is a Very Funny Fellow … Right!”

1964 - Releases his second album, “I Started Out as a Child.”

April 13, 1965 - Wins a Grammy for Best Comedy Performance for “I Started Out as a Child.”

1965-1968 - Plays Alexander Scott, an undercover CIA agent, on the NBC show “I Spy.”

1966-1968 - Wins three Best Actor Primetime Emmy Awards in a row for “I Spy.”

June 8, 1969 - Wins an Emmy Award for Outstanding Vari