Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  William Cosgrove  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT History Non-Fiction

Born: in Chicago, Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

William Cosgrove was born in Chicago, Illinois and was raised on the south side of the city as one of ten children of a Chicago firefighter. He wore his fathers badge for over twenty-eight years on the Chicago Fire Department. This badge was passed on to his son, Timothy, who is now a Chicago Firefighter.

Biographical and Professional Information

Mr. Cosgrove was also a Fire Investigator for the City of Chicago. He served as a Technical Advisor to Mr. Robert DeNiro in the blockbuster movie, “Backdraft”, on which he based his first book, “Robert DeNiro and the Fireman”. His second book “The Noble Breed” takes the readers into the harrowing lives of Chicago firefighters, and explains in summary the never told story of the Chicago firefighters strike against the City of Chicago. Bill Cosgrove, in his third book “Accident or Arson” graphically portrays firefighters at their best and he presents a vivid description of firefighter specialists conducting detailed fire origin and cause investigations. Bill received valor awards from the City of Chicago Fire Department for fire rescues in 1970, 1974, 1978, and 1988. He also received a valor award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1975. Since retiring from the Chicago Fire Department in 1995, he practices as a licensed private detective. Bill owns and operates, Bill Cosgrove Investigations, Inc. His company specializes in the origin and cause of fires.


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