In 1999, he agreed to a public ceremony on the Fleet Heart — the successor to Boston Backyard — for the thirtieth anniversary of his final championship staff and his retirement as a participant in addition to the second retirement of his quantity. The occasion was additionally a fund-raiser for the Nationwide Mentoring Partnership, whose packages he had helped develop as a board member.
“There aren’t any different individuals’s youngsters on this nation,” he instructed the group. “They’re the kids of the nation, and I refuse to be at warfare with them. I am going to all the time do something I can to make life higher for a child.”
He made commercials, signed autographs for severe collectors (for a payment) and delivered motivational speeches.
Russell married for the fourth time, to Jeannine Fiorito, in 2016. His first marriage, to Rose Swisher, resulted in divorce, as did his second marriage, to Dorothy Anstett. His third spouse, Marilyn Nault, died in 2009 at 59.
Russell had three youngsters from his first marriage — William Jr., Jacob and Karen Kenyatta Russell. William Jr., referred to as Buddha, died in 2016 at 58. Russell’s brother, a playwright and screenwriter underneath the title Charlie L. Russell, died in 2013 at 81. Full data on survivors was not instantly obtainable.
Russell was uncompromising when it got here to his rules. “There are two societies on this nation, and I’ve to acknowledge it, to see life for what it’s and never go stark, raving mad,” he instructed Sport journal in 1963, referring to the racial divide. “I do not work for acceptance. I’m what I’m. In the event you prefer it, that is good. If not, I could not care much less.”
He was additionally an immensely proud man.
“In the event you can take one thing to ranges that only a few different individuals can attain,” he instructed Sports activities Illustrated in 1999, “then what you are doing turns into artwork.”