Published October 10, 2014
A Comedian and a Scholar
To the Editor:
Bill Cosby may not have been “a slacker, a dropout or even a drinker,” as Neil Drumming writes in his review of Mark Whitaker’s new biography(Sept. 21). But he did leave my high school, Central High School of Philadelphia, then a magnet school for academically talented boys, after 10th grade. (He later received his G.E.D. in the Navy, and went on to Temple University.) Nevertheless, Central inducted Cosby into our High School Hall of Fame in 1998. And in his wildly funny acceptance speech, he told us his “prime motivation for attending Central was to get to carry the prestigious crimson and gold Central High School book covers to impress everyone on my subway ride to school, and hoping to elicit praise.” But, he made clear, “despite my not taking full advantage of a Central High education, it taught me the importance of excellence in education, which inspired me my whole life.” And so it did. Dr. Bill Cosby not only became an extraordinary humorist, but pursued excellence in education by earning a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts. Quite a man!
MORTON A. KLEIN
The link to the original letter may be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/books/review/letters-a-comedian-and-a-scholar.html?src=twr&_r=0