Bill Russell's biography, age, net worth, rings, MVPs, coaching, cause of death, tributes, achievements

Bill Russell's biography, age, net worth, rings, MVPs, coaching, cause of death, tributes, achievements

Babu Tendu
updated at April 12, 2023 at 8:08 PM

Not only was he one of the most loved basketball players in the United States, but he was also one of the most decorated players that the NBA has played host to over the years. His death is a celebration of a life well-lived. He was successful both as a player and a coach. Bill Russell's biography will be one of the discussion areas in this article as the general public grieves his sudden death.

Bill Russell's biography
This article will focus on key details about the late's hugely successful career. Photos by Rolls Press and Paul J. Maguire. (Modified by author).
Source: Getty Images

With eleven NBA titles in a thirteen-year career, he is said to be one of the GOATs of the court. The late was also a key part of the United States National basketball team during his time. Unfortunately, NBA centres today fail to match his brilliance.

Profile summary



Full Name:

William Felton Russell


The Secretary of Defense


February 12 1934


Monroe, Louisiana, United States


July 31 2022 (while 88 years old)

Listed height:

208 cm

Listed weight:

98 kg

High school:

McClymonds (Oakland, California)

College Attended:

San Francisco (1953-1956)

NBA Draft:

1956 (Selected by St. Louis Hawks)

Playing career:






Coaching career:


The team as a player:

Boston Celtics

Team/s as a coach:

Boston Celtics, Seattle Supersonics, Sacramento Kings

Career points:


Career rebounds:


Career assists:


Bill Russell's age and death

The basketball legend, Bill Russell died on July 31 2022, when he was 88 years of age. The death came as a shock to many in the sporting world. The announcement was posted on his official Twitter account on that day.

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Bill Russell's biography and career

He was the National Basketball Association's first exceptional defensive centre and one of the sport's most recognizable figures.

Bill Russell won 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics. When he was designated player-coach of the Celtics in 1966, he became the first African American coach of a modern major professional sports team in the United States.

Bill Russell's net worth
Celtic great Bill Russell during the unveiling of a bronze statue of legendary NBA Hall of Fame player Elgin Baylor on Friday, April 6, 2018, in Los Angeles. Photo by Keith Birmingham.
Source: Getty Images

He could easily have never picked up a basketball, let alone become one of the sport's all-time greats. He was born in a little town in Louisiana. His father relocated the family to Oakland, California, when he was eight years old since career opportunities were better there.

Universities did not heavily solicit him, but Hal DeJulio, a former player at the nearby University of San Francisco (USF), had seen him play and saw his potential, so he recommended him to his alma mater.

He blossomed in college, providing a defensive presence that helped USF to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championships in 1955 and 1956.

He was also a standout sprinter and high jumper on USF's track and field team (Wilt Chamberlain, his future archrival, also excelled at track and field up until his pro basketball career). As a result, red Auerbach, the Celtics' head coach and general manager, sought him in the NBA draft in 1956, seeing him as the answer to his team's weaknesses.

He won 11 NBA championships in 13 seasons (1957, 1959–66, and 1968–69). He might have had 12 if an ankle ailment hadn't hampered him early in the 1958 NBA finals. It's an astonishing success rate that no other player has matched.

Russell's Celtics ruled the roost at a time when the NBA's minuscule number of teams (the league consisted of eight or nine franchises for the majority of his career) created a greatly condensed talent pool, and a combination of integration and improved scouting resulted in an unprecedented influx of new stars.

Bill Russell's height

The American NBA legend was one of the biggest players in the league during his time. He was a stunning 2.08 metres tall. His height always marked his presence in the court.

Bill Russell's net worth

The American basketball GOAT had a net worth of $10 million. He was one of the richest retired NBA players. The sum is the worth of his assets, including his career earnings.

Bill Russell's rings

During his 13-year career, he led the Boston Celtics to 11 championships, including eight straight from 1959 to 1966. No other squad has ever won three games in a row. Russell, of course, would never claim to have won those titles; the Celtics won them.

NBA reacts to Bill Russell's death

Many stars passed their messages of condolences following the death of the Hall Of Famer. In addition, NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement expressing his condolences.

“Bill stood for something much bigger than sports: the values of equality, respect and inclusion that he stamped into the DNA of our league.
At the height of his athletic career, Bill advocated vigorously for civil rights and social justice, a legacy he passed down to generations of NBA players who followed in his footsteps. Through the taunts, threats and unthinkable adversity, Bill rose above it all and remained true to his belief that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity.”

Bill Russell's family

He was born in West Monroe, Louisiana, to Charles Russell and Katie Russell. Monroe, like almost all Southern towns and cities at the time, was highly segregated, and they faced bigotry daily.

His father was reportedly refused service at a petrol station unless all white customers were served first. Then, when he tried to leave and go to another station, the attendant shoved a shotgun in his face and threatened to murder him if he didn't stay and wait his turn.

Bill Russell's wife

It is unknown when Jeannine Russell and Bill met, but they married in 2018 when he was 84. Jeannine's photos on Bill's social media accounts are from 2018.

In 1956, he married his college love Rose Swisher, but the pair became emotionally estranged and divorced in 1973. In 1977, he married Dorothy Anstett, 1968 Miss USA, and the pair divorced in 1980. Marilyn Nault, his third wife, died in 1996. Their relationship lasted till her death in 2009.

Bill Russell's achievements

The following is a list of achievements that the American bagged during his successful career in the NBA;

Bill Russell's achievements
Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell attends a game between the Minnesota Lynx and the Las Vegas Aces at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 21, 2019, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo by Ethan Miller.
Source: Getty Images
  • 11x NBA Champion
  • 5x NBA MVP
  • 12x NBA All-Star
  • 1x All-Star Game MVP
  • 3x All-Star First Team
  • 8x All-NBA Second Team
  • 1x NBA All-Defensive First Team
  • 4x rebounding champion
  • 1x Lifetime Achievement award
  • 1x Anniversary Team
  • 2x NCAA Champion
  • 1x NCAA Tournament MVP
  • 2x Helms Player of the Year
  • 2x Consensus First-Team
  • WCC Player of the Year
  • 3x First-Team All-WCC
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom

Bill Russell's biography is one of the most colourful stories on any other player's resume. The player showed his consistency for a stunning 13 years and set very high standards yet to be achieved. He died a true Celtics and NBA legend.

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