Bill Cosby To Speak At The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan

Entertainment Icon Will Appear Oct. 10 in 2012-2013 Speaker Series

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Comedian, actor, producer and best-selling author Bill Cosby has just joined The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan's list of 2012-2013 guest speakers, it was announced today by Club President Mike Cook. Cosby will address The Club on Oct. 10. Cook said The Club would announce additional 2012-2013 speakers as their names and meeting dates become available.

bill cosby click to enlargeIn his television career, Cosby helped break down racial barriers. He became the first black actor in a starring dramatic role on network television, and the first to win an Emmy Award for best actor, for the series "I Spy." (He earned three Emmys for the series.) He was one of the original cast members of the educational children's series "The Electric Company" and later developed the animated series "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids." But he may be best known for his most successful work producing and starring in "The Cosby Show," the series about an upper-middle-class black family that appeared on NBC from 1984 to 1992. The show broke viewing records and TV Guide ranked Cosby's character, Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, No. 1 in its list of the 50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time.

Cosby is also a Grammy-winning recording artist for many of his standup routines. He won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Performance six years in a row, from 1965 to 1970, including for his album "I Started Out as a Child." He won two more for his recordings for children.

Cosby's writing has made him a best-selling author. His reflections on parenting, "Fatherhood," sold more than 2.6 million copies. He started a series of children's picture books featuring a character named Little Bill in 1997, which also became a children's television program. A frequent speaker at commencement ceremonies and supporter of education, he has also authored several books about America's education system and earned a doctorate in Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

He has received numerous awards for his work and social contributions, including Kennedy Center Honoree (1998), Presidential Medal of Freedom (2002), Bob Hope Humanitarian Award (2003) and Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (2009). He was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame (1994).

Cosby's visit to The Economic Club will give fans a chance to discover what drives the entertainment icon to make us laugh, make us cry and make us think. To learn more about Cosby, visit

The Economic Club meetings are open to members only. Individuals interested in becoming new members may add their names to a waiting list at A limited number of new memberships will be available this year.

Current members will receive their membership renewal information for the 2012-2013 season by the end of the month. Anyone wishing more information about The Club may visit the website, email or call (269) 982-6010.