|Bill Russell Quick Info|
|Height||6 ft 10 in|
|Date of Birth||February 12, 1934|
Bill Russell is an American former basketball coach and former professional basketball player who is universally acknowledged as one of the greatest American sportspersons of all time. He had represented the Boston Celtics in the NBA from 1956 to 1969 and was the central figure in the team’s total domination of the league winning the NBA championship title 11 times (1957, 1959–1966, 1968, 1969). Bill was named an ‘NBA All-Star’ 12 times (1958–1969), the ‘NBA MVP’ 5 times (1958, 1961–1963, 1965), and the ‘NBA All-Star Game MVP’ in 1963. He was also included in the ‘All-NBA First Team’ thrice (1959, 1963, 1965), the ‘All-NBA Second Team’ 8 times (1958, 1960–1962, 1964, 1966–1968), and the ‘NBA All-Defensive First Team’ in 1969. At the international level, he had captained the United States to the ‘Gold’ medal at the 1956 Summer Olympics. He was inducted into the ‘Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’ in 1975, the ‘FIBA (Federation Internationale de Basketball Amateur) Hall of Fame’ in 2007, and the ‘National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame’ in its inaugural ceremony in 2006. In 2011, he was honored with the ‘Presidential Medal of Freedom’ in recognition for his services to basketball and his contribution to the civil rights movement in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s.
William Felton Russell
Russ, Whiskers, Willie, Bill the Hill
West Monroe, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, United States
Mercer Island, King County, Washington, United States
Bill had attended the McClymonds High School, a public school in Oakland, California. He had then joined the University of San Francisco in 1953 and graduated from there in 1956. He had led the university team, the San Francisco Dons, to successive NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) championships in 1955 and 1956, a dream run that had included an astonishing streak of 55 wins in a row.
Former Basketball coach, Former Professional Basketball Player
- Father – Charles Russell (Janitor, Truck Driver, Shipyard Worker) (Deceased)
- Mother – Katie Russell (d. 1946)
- Siblings – Charlie L. Russell (Older Brother) (Playwright) (d. 2013)
- Others – Jake Russell (Paternal Grandfather), Matilda Russell (Paternal Grandmother), Katheryn Russell (Niece), Joshua Russell (Nephew), Sasha Brown (Grand Niece), Louis Brown (Grand Nephew), Bob Hopkins (Cousin) (Former Professional Basketball Player) (d. 2015)
He is represented by Russell Spielman, Manager and Booking Agent, GSE Worldwide, Melville, Long Island, New York, United States.
- 6 – Boston Celtics, USA
6 ft 10 in or 208 cm
98 kg or 216 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Bill has dated –
- Rose Swisher (1956–1973) – Bill began dating his college acquaintance Rose Swisher in 1956, his senior year in college. They got married later that year on December 9, 1956, and have 3 children together – a daughter named Karen Russell (b. 1962) (TV Pundit, Lawyer) and 2 sons named William Russell Jr. and Jacob Russell. Bill and Rose got divorced in 1973.
- Dorothy Anstett (1977–1980) – Bill had married model and former Miss USA (1968) Dorothy Anstett in 1977 and the couple had parted ways 3 years later, in 1980.
- Marilyn Nault (1996–2009) – Bill married Marilyn Nault in 1996 and they were together until her death in January 2009.
- Jeannine Fiorito (2016-Present)
Race / Ethnicity
He is of African-American descent.
- Toned physique
- Short-cropped hair
- Towering frame
- Sports a goatee
- Affable smile
Bill Russell Facts
- He was one of the greatest rebounders in basketball history and had led the NBA season charts in ‘Rebounds Per Game’ 5 times (1956-57, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1963-64, 1964-65). His mark of 24.9 ‘Rebounds Per Game’ in NBA playoffs was still the all-time NBA record as of September 2020.
- At the fag end of his playing career with the Boston Celtics (1956-1969), he had served 3 seasons as player-coach. In this time frame, the team won the league title in 1968 and 1969. This had made him the first black coach in any North American professional sports league to win a championship.
- As of September 2020, he was tied with hockey legend Henri Richard for the record of most championship titles won (11) by an athlete in any major North American team sports league (including Major League Baseball (MLB), National Hockey League (NHL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and National Football League (NFL)).
- As of September 2020, he was 1 of just 7 players in history to have completed the treble of winning an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship, and an Olympic Gold.
- In 2009, the NBA had renamed the ‘NBA Finals MVP’ trophy to the ‘Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award’.
- He was named in the NBA ’25th Anniversary Team’ (1971), the NBA ’35th Anniversary Team’ (1980), and was named as one of the ’50 Greatest Players in NBA History’ in 1996. He was 1 of just 4 players to find a place in all 3 lists.
Featured Image by Bill Russell / Instagram