Bill Russell Net Worth, Death, Wiki, Wife, Family, Age, Career, Stats

William Felton Russell, also known as Bill Russell, was an American former professional basketball player, NBA legend, and civil rights activist who peacefully died on 31 July 2022 at the age of 88.

Bill Russell Wiki/Biography

Bill Russell, an African American Basketball superstar, is one of the finest players in history. He played for the Boston Celtics of the NBA from 1956 to 1969. 

Bill was the first defensive center in the National Basketball Association (NBA) history. In the 13 seasons he spent playing with the Boston Celtics, he won 11 NBA championships. In 1966, he was hired as the team’s player coach, making him the first African American to lead a major professional sports team in the country.

Russell is considered the greatest basketball player and a sports icon. In 1955 and 1956, he guided the San Francisco Dons to win back-to-back NCAA titles, and in 1956, he served as the captain of the gold-medal-winning American national basketball team in the Summer Olympics.

Bill Russell’s Career Achievements

Standing at 6ft,10 inches tall, Bill Russell is known for his shot-blocking and defense. 

Russell was the first black player to reach superstar status in the NBA. He also worked for the Celtics as a player-coach for three seasons (1966–1969), becoming the league’s first black coach and the first to win a title during that time.  

Russell was first honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975.

In addition to being chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, he was also chosen as a member of the NBA 25th Anniversary Team in 1971, the NBA 35th Anniversary Team in 1980, the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021, and in one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996. Only four other players have received all three honors. 

The NBA changed the name of the NBA Finals MVP Award in his honor in 2009. 

He received a second induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021 for his work as a coach. Russell became the first player in NBA history to have his retired #6 jersey league-wide shortly after his passing in 2022. 

Bill Russell Early years

Bill was born on 12 February 1934 in West Monroe, Louisiana. His father’s name was Charles Russell, and his mother’s name was Katie Russell. In Monroe, Russell and his family faced much racism and hatred, so at the time of World War II, Russell and his family relocated to Oakland, CA.

Bill Russell was very close to her mother, but unfortunately, her mother died when Bill was just 12 years old; then, Bill’s father gave up on his trucking job and became a steel worker to be close to his children. 

Russell Early Basketball Career

Russell completed his early education at Herbert Hoover Junior High School, where he was a basketball team member. But he was soon cut off from the team because of his lack of understanding of the game despite his good height and running and jumping ability.

After completing his early education, he was enrolled in McClymonds High School and was part of the basketball team; there were chances of him to cut again due to his raw playing and didn’t know the basics of the game, but luckily his Coash George Powless encouraged him to work hard. Russell uses the opportunity of his support to become a good basketball player.

Russell was disregarded by college recruiters and had not received a single offer. Until tables took turns, and one day, USF recruiter Hal DeJulio from the University of San Francisco Saw Russell playing in a high school game; DeJulio was not impressed by Russell’s poor scoring and lack of basics. Still, he had seen the potential and his remarkable sense of timing, especially when the game was on the line. He offered Russell and scholarship, to which Russell happily accepted

Bill Russell’s Wife

Bill Russell first married Rose Swisher, his college sweetheart, in 1956, but they separated in 1973 after becoming emotionally estranged.

Bill married Dorothy Anstett in 1977; Dorothy was the Miss USA of 1968. The couple didn’t last long and separated in 1980.

Bill married a third time to Marilyn Nault, and their marriage lasted long until Marilyn died in 2009.

Russell then married Jeannine Russell, who was a resident of Mercer Island.

Bill Russell Kids

Bill had three children, two sons and one daughter from his first wife, named Jacob Russell, William Russell Jr., And Karen Russell; Karen Russell is a lawyer. 

Bill Russell Civil Rights Movements.

Since childhood, Bill faced racism and didn’t want any black people to face the same life difficulties and unfairness. 

He supported Dr. Martin Luther King at the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s by standing next to him. He was in the crowd in 1963 when Martin Luther King Jr. gave the well-known “I Have a Dream” address in Washington.

He also stood and extended his support to legendary boxer Muhammad Ali against being called up for military duty.

 Barack Obama awarded bill Russell the “Presidential Medal Of Freedom” in 2011 in honor of his achievements in the courts and the civil rights struggle.

Bill Russell Death

Bill Russell, at the age of 88, passed away peacefully. His official Twitter handle issues a statement by his family member that:

“With a heavy heart, we would like to pass along to all Bill Russell Friends, followers, and fans: Bill, the most prolific winner in American sports history, passed away peacefully today at the age of 88”.

After the statement was issued, many fans and followers showed grief, and former Us president Barack Obama praised Bill for his contribution to society.

“He said Today we lost a giant; as tall as Bill Russell stood, his legacy rises higher-both as a player and as a person.”

His Basketball team, the Celtics, issued a statement.

“To be the greatest champion in your sport, to revolutionize the way the game is played, and to be a societal leader all at once seems unthinkable, but that is who Bill Russell was.” 

Bill Russell’s Net worth 

Bill Russell was a sports icon, civil rights activist, and former American professional basketball player with an estimated net worth of around $10 million at the time of his death on 31 July 2022.

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