Bill Russell was one of the greatest basketball players of all time, a civil rights activist, and a trailblazer for Black coaches in the NBA.
He won 11 championships with the Boston Celtics, more than any other player in history, and was voted the greatest player of the NBA’s first 50 years.
He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, in 2011.
But who was Bill Russell’s wife, and how did she support him throughout his remarkable career and life?
In this article, we will explore the personal side of Bill Russell, focusing on his four marriages and his three children.
Bill Russell Wife
Bill Russell was married four times in his life.
His first wife was Rose Swisher, whom he met at the University of San Francisco, where he played college basketball.
They got married on December 9, 1956, shortly after he won the gold medal at the 1956 Olympics.
They had three children together and stayed married until 1973, when they divorced due to growing apart.
His second wife was Dorothy Anstett, a former Miss USA of 1968.
They got married in 1977 but divorced in 1980 after a brief and unhappy marriage.
His third wife was Marilyn Nault, whom he married in 1996.
She was his longest marriage and supported him through many challenges.
She died of cancer in 2009.
His fourth and final wife was Jeannine Edwards, a former professional golfer.
They got married in 2018 and remained together until his death.
Bill Russell Age
Bill Russell was born on February 12, 1934, in Monroe, Louisiana.
He was 88 years old when he passed away on July 31, 2022, at his home in Mercer Island, Washington.
Rusell had been suffering from various health issues in his later years, including heart problems and pneumonia.
He died peacefully with his wife Jeannine by his side, according to his family statement.
Bill Russell Net Worth
Bill Russell had an estimated net worth of $10 million as of 2022.
Most of his net worth came from his salary as a player and a coach in the NBA.
He was one of the first big earners in basketball history, earning $24,000 for his rookie contract in 1956.
He also made money from endorsements, broadcasting, writing books, and speaking engagements.
Bill Russell Height
Bill Russell was listed as 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 meters) tall when he played in the NBA.
He was one of the tallest players of his era and used his height advantage to dominate the game with his defense and rebounding skills.
He is widely regarded as one of the best defensive players and shot blockers of all time.
Bill Russell Children
Bill Russell had three children with his first wife, Rose Swisher.
They were William Jr., Jacob, and Karen.
William Jr., who was born in 1957, followed his father’s footsteps as a truck driver and lived in St. George, Utah.
He died of stomach cancer in 2016 at the age of 58.
Jacob, who was born in 1959, is a writer and a former basketball player.
He lives in Seattle, Washington.
Karen, who was born in 1962, is a lawyer and a television pundit.
She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
Bill Russell Parents
His parents were both from rural Louisiana and faced racism and discrimination in their daily lives.
When Bill was eight years old, his father moved the family to Oakland, California, in search of better opportunities.
There, they lived in a series of public housing projects and struggled with poverty.
Bill was very close to his mother, who encouraged him to pursue his education and his dreams.
She died suddenly when he was 12 years old, leaving him devastated and traumatized.
Bill Russell Death
Bill Russell died on July 31, 2022, at the age of 88.
His death shocked and saddened the basketball world and beyond.
He was widely praised for his achievements on and off the court, as well as for his courage and dignity in fighting for social justice and equality.
He received tributes from former teammates, rivals, fans, celebrities, politicians, and other sports figures.
Bill Russell was more than just a basketball legend.
He was a leader, an activist, a mentor, a role model, and a hero.
He left behind a legacy that will inspire generations to come.
Bill Russell was a man of principle, passion, and purpose.
He was Bill Russell, and he will be dearly missed.