Bill Cosby: An actor who served as a hospital corpsman

Bill Cosby

Bill Cosby, one of the most popular comic actors is also a veteran. He was born as William Henry Cosby Jr. on July 12, 1937, in North Philadelphia. His military service started in 1956 when he enlisted in the United States Navy.

Early life

Before enlistment, in Cosby’s early childhood, his father was away in the U.S. armed forces, spending several years fighting 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.

Military service

Bill Cosby trained as a hospital corpsman and served aboard ships and at the Marine base at Quantico, Virginia, shortly before being sent to Bethesda Naval Hospital. There he was assigned to work with Korean War casualties and veterans.

Cosby won awards running on the Navy track team, but also experienced racial discrimination, being forced to eat in the kitchen of cafes where the team stopped to eat while on the road. He was honorably discharged after four years of service in 1960.

Bill Cosby Military Service US Navy
Bill Cosby’s military service: He was a famous actor and a veteran who served as a hospital corpsman (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Post-military life

He went on to Temple University on the GI Bill. He later received an M.A and Ed.D. (Education) at the University of Massachusetts. In recent years, he has contributed generously to educational institutions, including Atlanta’s Spelman College.

Cosby is one of the most recognized and successful entertainers in the world of show business. He has recorded numerous comedy records and starred in the Cosby Show, one of the most popular sitcoms of the eighties. He is also the author of several books, including three “Little Bill” children’s books. He is on the list of famous veterans who served in the U.S. military.

Controversies

In 2011, Bill Cosby was presented with the honorary title of Chief Petty Officer, but that title was revoked later by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Michael Stevens. The Navy revoked his title because of allegations against Bill Cosby were very serious and are in conflict with the Navy’s core values of honor, courage, and commitment, officials said.

Bill Cosby Military Service: Honorary title revoked in 2014
Navy Revokes Bill Cosby’s Honorary Title Amid Sex Assault Claims in the 2014 (Photo: U.S. Navy)
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