William "Bill" Cosby Jr. is an American comedian, actor, author, television producer, educator, musician and activist. During the 1980s, Bill Cosby produced and starred in one of the decade's defining sitcoms, The Cosby Show. The Cosby Show aired eight seasons from 1984 to 1992. It was the number one show in America for five straight years (1985–89).
He also produced the spin-off sitcom A Different World, which became second to The Cosby Show in ratings. He starred in the sitcom Cosby from 1996 to 2000 and hosted Kids Say the Darndest Things for two seasons. A veteran stand-up performer, he got his start at the hungry in San Francisco and various other clubs, and then landed a starring role in the 1960s action show, I Spy.
He was one of the major performers on the children's television series The Electric Company during its first two seasons, and created the educational cartoon comedy series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, about a group of young friends growing up in the city. Cosby also acted in a number of films.
In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante included him in his book The 100 Greatest African Americans. In 1976, Cosby earned a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.