Best Known For
Hailed as the greatest winner in sports, Basketball Hall of Fame center Bill Russell led the Boston Celtics to an unprecedented 11 championships in just 13 seasons.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
He most likely would have led the league in block shots, but the NBA had not yet started keeping track of the statistic.
Following 1966 season, in which Russell led the Celtics to an eighth consecutive title, Auerbach retired from coaching. Rather than play for somebody else, Russell took over as a player-coach, steering the team to two more titles in 1968 and 1969.
Following the 1969 season,
Russell retired from the game. Over the next several decades he periodically came back to the game as a coach or as an executive, but his teams failed to win with the kind of regularity he had as a player. He last led the Sacramento Kings as president of basketball operations in the late 1980s.
Russell was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975.
Even as he won on the court, Russell, an outspoken backer of the civil rights movement, experienced his struggles off it. He was never embraced by Boston fans in the way his white teammates were. On the road it was not uncommon for him to have to sleep in a different hotel from the one the rest of the club used.
Russell has been married three times. With his first wife, Rose, to whom he was married for 17 years, he had three children: a daughter, Karen, and two sons, Buddha and Jacob.
In 2010 Russell received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civil honor, from President Obama.
© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
profile name: Bill Russell profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Who was the first African-American boxing champ? How about World Cycling champ? Who was the first African-American to win an Olympic gold medal? What year did Jackie Robinson break baseball's color barrier? Who was Althea Gibson and what first did she achieve? Detail our collection of pioneering African-American athletes for the answers to these and many more questions, and explore our African-American Firsts: Athletes photos gallery.
African-American Firsts: Athletes 37 people in this group
Shaquille O'Neal, Carmelo Anthony and Lebron James are just a few of the most well-known basketball players to have competed in the Olympic Games. The men's and women's national teams, often comprised of some of the top American professional and college players, have proven to be two of the most successful teams from the U.S. Since their first Olympic appearance in 1936, the men's team has taken home a total of 13 gold medals, with the women not far behind, claiming six since their start in 1976. From legendary figures like Michael Jordan to female powerhouses like Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes, Biography looks at the most famous names who have dominated the Olympic courts.
Olympic Basketball Players 15 people in this group
Famous Aquarians 598 people in this group