Emmy-winning TV host and bestselling author Rita Cosby will be making a rare visit to the area for Quiet Hero: Secrets from My Father's Past, on Tuesday, February 8th at 7 PM McKay Auditorium, Beeghly College of Education at Youngstown State University. Her new book is an inspiring story of redemption, and a tribute to her father who was a young resistance fighter against the Nazis and later a German prisoner of war.
While going through mementos after her mother's death, Cosby uncovered pieces of her father Richard Cosby's never-talked about past. She knew he had left Poland after World War II, and that because of his many scars, visible and not, he had always refused to answer questions. But in a suitcase she uncovered stark pieces from the youth of RyszardKossobudzki: a worn and bloodied Polish Resistance armband and a rusty prisoner tag from Stalag IV-B.
At the age of thirteen, barely even adolescent, her father had seen his hometown decimated by bombs. By the time he was fifteen, he was covertly distributing anti-Nazi propaganda a few blocks from the Warsaw Ghetto. Before the Warsaw Uprising, he lied about his age to join the Resistance and actively fight the enemy to the last bullet. After being nearly fatally wounded, he was taken into captivity and thrown into a German POW camp near Dresden, finally escaping in a daring plan and ultimately rescued by American forces. Read exerpts of her book here.
“As a journalist, I've spoken with and investigated some of the most notable and notorious people on the planet, from Pope John Paul II to the Son of Sam, but I realized I had never focused my investigative skills on my own past,” says Cosby, currently a special correspondent for the CBS syndicated newsmagazine Inside Edition. “Now that I have, I know the most important person I've ever sat down with is not a world leader, celebrity, or other notable, but my own dad.”
Through this riveting and highly acclaimed memoir, Rita tells the harrowing story of Richard Cosby, butRita is telling her own story too. It is the story of a daughter coming to understand a father whose past was too painful to share with those he loved the most, too terrible to share with a child . . . but one that he eventually revealed to the journalist.
In turn, Cosby convinced her father to join her in a dramatic return to his Polish homeland for the first time in 65 years. As Rita drew these stories from her father and uncovered secrets and emotions long kept hidden, father and daughter forged a new and precious bond, deeper than either could have ever imagined. Lean more about her thoughtson this experience and her book here.
Cosby has hosted several primetime shows on Fox News Channel and MSNBC, is a recipient of three Emmy Awards, the Jack Anderson Award for investigative excellence, the Matrix Award and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. She also earned Cosmopolitan Magazine's "Fun and Fearless Female" recognition. Her first book, Blonde Ambition, was a New York Times bestseller.
Proceeds from Cosby’s book go toward the USO and Poland’s Warsaw Uprising and History of Polish Jewsmuseums. Her book tour is being sponsored by the Ohio Chapter of the Kosciuszko Foundation and the Friends of Poland, a student group at Kent State.
Cosby's talk is presented by Youngstown State University Journalism Department, the Society for Collegiate Journalists and the Polish Arts Club of Youngstown.