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Mark Twain

Humor must not professedly teach, and it must not professedly preach, but it must do both if it would live  forever.  Mark Twain
Mark Twain Prize for American Humor

Celebrating Bill Cosby

Recipient Bill Cosby

Bill CosbyDr. William Henry "Bill" Cosby, Jr. is an American comedian, actor, author, television producer and activist. He began his career performing in various comedy clubs, before landing a role in the 1960s action show I Spy. This was followed by his own series, The Bill Cosby Show, in 1969. He created the animated educational series Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, about a group of young friends growing up in the city and based on the famous routines. Cosby produced and starred in The Cosby Show, which is generally considered one of the landmark sitcoms of all time, airing from 1984 to 1992. "The Huxtable Effect" describes the notion that the show helped pave the way for the first black president. He produced the hit sitcom A Different World, which is credited with encouraging young people to obtain a college education.

Cosby produced Little Bill, a Nick, Jr. Emmy award winning animated series that now airs on Noggin. Throughout his career, he has released a number of popular comedy albums. Nine of Cosby's albums have been certified Gold and six have been certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In addition to performing, Cosby is the author of many best-selling books, including Fatherhood and Come On People, the Path From Victims to Victors, co-authored by Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D.

In 1972, Cosby earned a Masters Degree in Education, followed by a Doctorate in Education in 1978, from the University of Massachusetts. His contributions to American culture were recognized with a Kennedy Center Honors in 1998 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in July 2002, America's highest civilian honor.