Bill Russell is an American professional basketball player who played as a center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969. A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) and a 12-time NBA All-Star, he was the centerpiece of the Celtics dynasty that won 11 NBA championships during his 13-year career. Russell and Henri Richard of the National Hockey League are tied for the record of the most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league. Russell is widely considered to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time. In 1955 and 1956, Russell led the San Francisco Dons to two consecutive NCAA championships and he captained the gold-medal winning U.S. national basketball team at the 1956 Summer Olympics. In 2009, the NBA renamed the NBA Finals MVP Award in his honor.

Birth Name

William Felton Russell


Russ, Whiskers, Willie, Bill the Hill


Former Basketball Coach, Former Professional Basketball Player



Shirt Number

6 – Boston Celtics, USA



Personal Life

Birthday / Date of Birth

Bill Russell was born on the 12th of February 1934, in West Monroe, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, United States.


He was died on the 31st of July 2022 (aged 88), in Mercer Island, Washington, United States.

Sun Sign




He was of African-American descent.





Bill had attended the McClymonds High School, a public school in Oakland, California. In 1953, He had then joined the University of San Francisco and in 1956, graduated from there.

Family Details

  • Father – Charles Russell (Janitor, Truck Driver, Shipyard Worker) (Deceased)
  • Mother – Katie Russell
  • Siblings – Charlie L. Russell (Older Brother) (Playwright)

Marital Status


Girlfriend / Spouse

Bill Russell has dated –

  • Rose Swisher (1956–1973) – In 1956, Bill began dating his college acquaintance Rose Swisher his senior year in college. On December 9, 1956, They got married later that year and have 3 children together – a daughter named Karen Russell (TV Pundit, Lawyer) and 2 sons named William Russell Jr. and Jacob Russell. In 1973, Bill and Rose got divorced.
  • Dorothy Anstett (1977–1980) – In 1977, Russell had married model and former Miss USA (1968) Dorothy Anstett and in 1980, the couple had parted ways 3 years later.
  • Marilyn Nault (1996–2009) – In 1996, Bill married Marilyn Nault and they were together until her death in January 2009.

  • Jeannine Russell

Physical Statistics


  • In feet – 6 feet 10 inches
  • In centimeters – 208 cm
  • In meters – 2.08 m


  • In Kilograms – 98 kg
  • In Pounds – 216 lbs

Body Build


Eye Color

Dark Brown

Hair Color


Shoe Size

He wears a size 18 (US) shoe.



Professional Statistics

Famous For

Bill became known as a former basketball coach and former professional basketball player who was universally acknowledged as one of the greatest American sportspersons of all time. 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.

Professional Career

During the 1956, Russell was selected by the Boston Celtics NBA Draft because of his defensive toughness and rebounding prowess. Before his rookie year, he was made the captain of the U.S. national basketball team that competed at the 1956 Summer Olympics. He helped the team win a Gold medal. Bill Russell started playing for the Celtics in the 1956-57 season in December. He played 48 games with an average of 14.7 points per game and 19.6 rebounds per game.

In his first NBA playoff game against the Syracuse Nationals in 1957, he finished with 16 points and 31 rebounds along with 7 blocks. The Celtics managed a 108-89 victory and swept the Nationals in three games. In the beginning of the 1957-58 season, the Celtics won 14 straight games. He was named the NBA Most Valuable Player for that season. His team won 49 games and easily made the first berth in the 1958 NBA Playoffs.

Bill averaged 16.9 points and 23.9 rebounds per game in the 1960-61 season leading his team to 57-22 record. The following season the Celtics became the first team to win 60 games in a season and he was again voted as the NBA’s Most Valuable Player. The Celtic coach Red Auerbach retired before the 1966-67 season. Russell was offered the role of player-coach, which he accepted—making him the first African-American NBA coach. He ended his playing career at the age of 35.

Bill Russell Net worth

Bill Russell has an estimated net worth of $10 million dollars as of 2023.

Social Media Profiles

Some Lesser Known Facts About Bill Russell

  • Russell was born to Charles and Katie Russell in West Monroe, Louisiana. He grew up in a racially segregated neighborhood where his family was often subjected to rampant acts of racism.
  • During World War II, the Second Great Migration began, as large numbers of Black people were moving to the West to look for work there. When Russell was eight years old, his father moved the family out of Louisiana and settled in Oakland, California.
  • He had a difficult childhood and grew up in poverty. He lost his mother when he was just 12 years old.
  • Bill went to McClymonds High School, where he started playing basketball. His coach, George Powles, encouraged the youngster to develop his skills and become a good player.
  • In 1956 Russell entered the NBA draft. He was drafted second overall, by the St. Louis Hawks.
  • 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.
  • He was one of the most successful players ever to have graced American basketball. He won 11 NBA championships as a player with the Boston Celtics in 13 seasons.
  • In 2009, the NBA had renamed the ‘NBA Finals MVP’ trophy to the ‘Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP Award’.
  • In 2011, Bill was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama for his accomplishments in the Civil Rights Movement, both on and off the court.
  • As of September 2020, Russell 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.


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