Mother: Katie (King) Russell
Marriages: Marilyn Nault (1996-January 2009, her death); Dorothy "Didi" Anstett (1977-1980, divorced); Rose Swisher (1956-1973, divorced)
Children: with Rose Swisher: Karen; William Jr. "Buddha"; Jacob
Education: University of San Francisco, B.A., 1956
Six-foot-nine center known for his defense and ability to block shots.
Won 11 NBA championships in his 13 years with the Boston Celtics in 1957, 1959-1966, and 1968-1969.
Five-time NBA Most Valuable Player in 1958, 1961-1963, and 1965.
Twelve-time NBA All-Star
from 1958-1969 and All-Star MVP in 1963.
Served as a color commentator for televised basketball games, in between his coaching jobs.
His older brother was playwright Charlie L. Russell.
1955 and 1956 -
Led the San Francisco Dons to back-to-back NCAA basketball championships
and an undefeated season in 1956.
April 29, 1956 - Selected second overall in the NBA draft by the St. Louis Hawks and then traded to the Boston Celtics.
November 1956 -
Captain of the U.S. men's basketball team that wins gold in the Melbourne Olympics.
December 1956-1969 - Center with the Boston Celtics.
1966-1969 - Serves as player-coach of the Boston Celtics, making him the first African-American head coach in the NBA.
1973-1977 - Head coach and general manager of the Seattle SuperSonics.
Russell is inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame.
November 1987-1988 - Head coach of the Sacramento Kings.
February 2009 -
NBA Commissioner David Stern announces that the Finals MVP Trophy will be renamed the Bill Russell NBA Finals
Most Valuable Player Award.
October 2011 -
Sues the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Electronic Arts for using his likeness in the videogame "Tournament of Legends" without permission or compensation. Russell's lawsuit is later combined with a pending class action suit filed by Ed O'Bannon and others
, alleging that the NCAA, EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Company violated antitrust and right of publicity law by using the players' images and likenesses in video games, archival footage, photographs and promotions.
October 16, 2013 -
Is arrested for bringing a loaded .38-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun to Sea-Tac International Airport in Seattle. He is issued a state citation and released.
November 1, 2013 -
A bronze statue of Russell is unveiled on Boston City Hall Plaza. The statue is erected by the Bill Russell Legacy Project
, which also developed the Bill Russell Mentoring Grant Program.
May 31, 2014 - EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Company finalize a $40 million settlement with the college athletes in the Ed O'Bannon class action lawsuit, in which Russell is also a plaintiff. The NCAA remains as the sole defendant.
July 17, 2014 - Is briefly hospitalized after collapsing on-stage during a speaking engagement
near Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Celtics officials later say that Russell is feeling better and expected to fly home to Seattle that same day.