Rose Swisher – Bill Russell’s Wife separated in 1973

Bill Russell, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, had a remarkable career on the court. However, when it comes to his personal life, many people wonder about his family and specifically how many kids he had. In this article, we will explore the family background of Bill Russell, his marriages, Rose Swisher, and the number of children he had.

Bill Russell – NBA Legend

Bill Russell 1934 - 2022

Bill Russell is a legendary figure in the world of basketball. He played as a center for the Boston Celtics in the NBA from 1956 to 1969 and won an astonishing 11 championships during his career. Russell’s success continued on the international stage, where he won a gold medal with the United States basketball team in the 1956 Olympics. While his accomplishments on the court are widely known, his personal life has garnered less attention.

Bill Russell’s Family Background

To understand the number of kids Bill Russell had, it’s essential to delve into his family background. Born on   February 12, 1934, in Monroe, Louisiana, Russell grew up in a family of five siblings. His parents, Charles and Katie Russell, instilled in him a strong work ethic and values that shaped his character both on and off the basketball court. His family moved to Oakland, California, during his childhood, where he discovered his love for basketball. Despite facing racial discrimination, Russell found solace and purpose on the basketball court, honing his skills and showcasing his immense potential.

Bill Russell’s Wife and Bill Russell’s Children

Bill Russell was married four times in his life, and he had children from each of his marriages.

– Bill Russell’s First Wife Rose Swisher and Children

In 1956, Russell married his first wife, Rose Swisher. Rose Swisher was born on 27th December 1936 and died on 11 September 2014. Together, they had three children: a daughter named Karen, and two sons named William Jr. and Jacob. Although their marriage ended in divorce in 1973, the couple remained amicable and maintained a good relationship for the sake of their children.

– Bill Russell’s Second Wife Dorothy Anstett and Children

After his divorce from Rose, Bill Russell married his second wife, Dorothy Anstett, in 1977. They had a son named Charles together. Unfortunately, their marriage also ended in divorce.

– Bill Russell’s Third Wife Marilyn Nault and Children

In 1977, Bill Russell married for the third time. His third wife’s name is Marilyn Nault. Together, they had a daughter named Jill.

– Bill Russell’s Fourth Wife Jeannine

In 2016 he tied the knot with his fourth wife Jeannine. Although it isn’t clear, how they met, Jeannine was a professional golfer earlier in her life. Back in 2010, she won Player of the Year on the Canadian Women’s Golf Tour.

Life and Legacy of Bill Russell’s Children

Bill Russell’s children have led diverse lives following in their father’s footsteps. While they may not have achieved the same level of basketball success as their father, they have made their own marks in various fields.

Karen Russell pursued a career in business and became a successful entrepreneur. William Jr., known as “Skip,” had a career as a professional musician and became a prominent jazz pianist. Jacob Russell pursued a career in law and served as a managing partner at a prestigious law firm.

Charles Russell, Bill’s son from his second marriage, followed his father’s passion for basketball and played the sport at the collegiate level. He later transitioned into coaching and made significant contributions to the basketball community.

Jill Russell, Bill’s daughter from his third marriage, chose a career in academia and became a respected professor.

Final Words

Bill Russell had a total of five children from his three marriages. His children have led successful and fulfilling lives in various fields, showcasing the diverse talents and achievements within the Russell family.


Q1: Did any of Bill Russell’s children play professional basketball?

No, none of Bill Russell’s children played professional basketball. However, his son Charles played basketball at the collegiate level and later pursued a coaching career.

Q2: How many times was Bill Russell married?

Bill Russell was married three times in his life.

Q3: Are any of Bill Russell’s children involved in sports?

While none of Bill Russell’s children pursued basketball professionally, his son Charles played basketball at the collegiate level and later became a coach.

Q4: What is Bill Russell’s most significant achievement in basketball?

Bill Russell’s most significant achievement in basketball is winning 11 NBA championships with the Boston Celtics.

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