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Celebrity G.I. Bill Profile: Bill Cosby

March 13, 2012

If you don't know the comedian Bill Cosby, it's likely you've lived underground in a hole and have never seen a television before. Celebrities often pick different careers to base their education on while going in a complete opposite direction once they receive their education. That is one benefit of the G.I. Bill, since your education is basically a free ride, you can pick anything to study. Bill Cosby, most famous for his show "The Bill Cosby Show" that ran from 1984 to 1992, was a comedian, actor and television producer. However, back in 1956, he was just a newly enlisted naval officer training to work as a hospital corpsman. Cosby served aboard multiple ships before settling at the Marine base in Quantico, Virginia, before he was transferred to work with Korean War casualties in Bethesda Naval Hospital. He was discharged in 1956 after four years of military service.

From there, Cosby went to Temple University with G.I. Bill benefits, receiving a Master of Arts in Education at the University of Massachusetts. He spoke about it later as always having appreciated education and that he was appreciative of the G.I. Bill for giving him that ability to earn an education. In his later years, Cosby made contributions to several educational institutions, including Atlanta's Spelman College in Georgia.

Cosby is also known for his stand-up routines. As a veteran performer, he got his start as a club comedian and making different comedy albums, moving into television with a role in the 1960s show I Spy. In the 1970s, Cosby introduced the idea of the "The Bill Cosby Show" and worked on a cartoon series called "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids," both of which received incredible audiences throughout their running years. Cosby was also in several films.

It was in the 1980s that Cosby really became a household name. Introducing, producing and starring in his TV show, "The Cosby Show," which featured an upper-class African-American family breaking through racial stereotypes that had been portrayed by African American actors before. The cast was mostly African-American and focused on topics from family values to drug reform, all to the help of Cosby's often poignant and often expressive humor.

Nowadays, Bill Cosby is one of the most recognized faces in the United States. His name is synonymous with popular entertainment. Known for his wit and generosity, he continues to speak out for education and racial equality. Cosby's ability to make fun of life and also help people laugh through desperate times made him a legend. With the G.I. Bill, he was able to become more than an actor and get the kind degree that helps many people transition into high level careers.

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