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Bill Costen was born in 1947 in Omaha, Nebraska. He attended the University of Nebraska in 1965 and graduated from Morris Brown College with a B.S. degree in Mathematics in 1970. After graduation, he was drafted by The Buffalo Bills Professional Football team as a defensive tackle. During his very first game he realized a dream as he picked up a blocked punt and scored the only touchdown for Buffalo. After getting the axe, he played two years with their farm team, “The Hartford Knights” located in Hartford Connecticut. For the next fourteen years, he worked in the Insurance Industry as a Property/Casualty Underwriter.
His ballooning career began in 1975 when he created and designed “The State of Connecticut Bicentennial Balloon.” Shortly thereafter, he started Sky Endeavors a hot air balloon company dealing in sales, instruction, rides and promotions.

Throughout the years, he has given balloon rides to thousands of people and has done numerous promotions for various Companies and Organizations. He has flown in Balloon Festivals and races all over the country has been featured in many newspapers and magazines. Being the first African American commercial balloon pilot in the country, he was featured in Ebony Magazine in 1977 and Black Enterprise in both 1981 and 1989.

Currently, as President and CEO of Sky Endeavors LLC, he finds time to work also as a Photojournalist for an African American Newspaper in Hartford CT called “Northend Agents” and serves as a Deacon and a Photographer for “The First Cathedral Church” in Bloomfield CT.

Having interests in preserving and displaying history, he has served as a Board member of the “New England Air Museum” of Windsor Locks CT since 1989 and “Community for Change for the Arts” of New Haven CT since 2001.

His collecting interests went all the way back to saving his Eagle Scout uniform and certificates. He also saved his porter memorabilia from serving on the Union Pacific Railroad during the summer of his college years. Being an avid archivist and collector, he created “The Costen Cultural Exhibit” entitled “To God Be The Glory” which is a unique collection of rare photographs, ephemera, memorabilia and collectibles that has been custom designed to travel to your location and show the accomplishments of Americans with an emphasis on African Americans throughout history. Topics address the interests of all age groups and include Slavery, Civil Rights, Invention & Science, Athletics & Sports, Harlem Renaissance, Aviation & Military ( NASA, Buffalo Soldiers, Tuskegee Airmen), Music & Entertainment. It has been exhibited at Fundraising Events, Educational Institutions, Museums, Historical Societies, Churches, Community Organizations and Corporations.

Bill and his wife Lynda reside in Bloomfield CT. They have two children, Jarrell, a graduate of Hampton University and Chantal, a graduate of Howard University in Washington DC.

For further information contact:
Bill Costen – Phone: (860) 242-0228 – Email: skyendeavor@comcast.net

Buffalo Bills

Hartford Knights

Bicentenial Balloon

First African American


Balloon Rides

Balloon Festivals

Northend Agents

Fundraising Events


Eagle Scout

Air Museum

Union Pacific


Black Enterprise

Copyright ©2005 Costen Cultural Exhibit / Sky Endeavors
Page Updated November 18, 2009