The life and times of Bill Cosby

By Staff

Published September 25, 2018

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Bill Cosby had a storied life before he was sentenced to three to 10 years in a Pennsylvania prison in connection with a sexual assault conviction.

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The actor and comedian was born William Henry Cosby Jr. on July 12, 1937 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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He attended Temple University, served in the US Navy, and later earned graduate degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


His comedy career began in the early 1960s. In 1963, he released his first comedy album.

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He married Camille Hanks in 1964. The couple had five children.

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In 1965, he landed the groundbreaking role of Alexander Scott, an undercover CIA agent, on the show "I Spy." He also hosted variety shows and became an integral part of the US pop cultural firmament.

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Cosby had success with other shows, and then "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" beginning in the 1970s.


In September 1984, his biggest hit, "The Cosby Show," debuted on NBC. The iconic show was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 1992, the year it ended.

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In the 1990s and 2000s, Cosby was honored for his work. He collected the Kennedy Center Honors, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Emmys' Bob Hope Humanitarian Award, among others.

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In 2005, former Temple University employee Andrea Constand said that Cosby had drugged and fondled her in January 2004. He wasn't charged. She settled out of court with him.

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In 2014, several women, including former supermodel Janice Dickinson, came forward to accuse Cosby of sexual assault.

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In 2015, unsealed documents revealed Cosby had admitted to getting prescription Quaaludes to give to women he wanted to have sex with. The documents, dating back to 2005, stem from Constand's civil lawsuit.


In December 2015, Cosby is charged in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, in connection with Constand's allegations.


The trial begins in June 2017. After six days, it ends in mistrial.

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In February 2018, Cosby's daughter Ensa dies of renal disease at age 44. His only son, Ennis, was robbed and murdered in 1997.

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On April 5, 2018, a jury is seated in Cosby's new trial in connection with Constand's allegations.

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On April 26, 2018, Cosby is convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Constand in 2004.

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