Bill Russell was an American professional basketball player who played as a center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969.

After graduating from high school in Oakland, California, he continued his education at the University of San Francisco. He had migrated to the West Coast with his family when he was a child.

Bill Russell
Bill Russell

In 1955 and 1956, he was the leader of the Dons basketball team that won the NCAA title, and in 1956, he earned a gold medal in the Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.

Because Red Auerbach, coach and general manager of the Celtics, wanted Russell so badly, he was able to negotiate a deal with the St. Louis Hawks to move up to the second pick in the draft.

He assured the Rochester Royals, who were in possession of the first overall pick, that the Ice Capades would pay them a visit, and Brown was also the owner of the Boston Celtics at the time. Despite this, when Russell came to Boston, he was met with criticism that he wasn’t very good.

Along with Congressman John Lewis, millionaire businessman Warren Buffett, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and baseball great Stan Musial, President Barack Obama presented Russell with the Medal of Freedom in 2011.

Bill Russell Wives: Marilyn Nault, Dorothy Anstett and Rose Swisher

The late Bill Russell, before his death in 2022 had previously married three women. The women are Marilyn Nault, Dorothy Anstett, and Rose Swisher.

Marilyn Nault

After that, in 1996, Russell wed Marilyn Nault, who would become his third wife. Their marriage remained strong until she passed away in January of 2009. And when he passed away, Russell was married to his fourth wife, Jeannine Russell; they had two children together.

Dorothy Anstet

Dorothy Anstett was only 29 years old when they tied the knot, while Russell was in his early forties. They lived together for a total of three years prior to their divorce in 1980.

Rose Swisher

When the two exes first met, they were both attending the same college at the same time. On December 9, 1956, Rose and Bill Russell exchanged their vows and became husband and wife. In a similar vein, they were married for close to twenty years before divorcing in the year 1973.

Together, Bill Rusell and Rose Swisher brought up their three children: sons William Jr. and Jacob, as well as daughter Karen Russell, who is an attorney and a television commentator.

Rose Swisher, who was Bill Russell’s first love and later his wife, passed away on September 11, 2014, at the age of 78.


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