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
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.
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
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.
Bill Costen – Phone: (860) 242-0228 – Email: