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HomeBasketballBill Russell, Celtics Center Who Transformed Pro Basketball, Dies at 88

Bill Russell, Celtics Center Who Transformed Pro Basketball, Dies at 88

In 1999, he agreed to a public ceremony at the Fleet Center — the successor to Boston Garden — for the 30th anniversary of his last championship team and his retirement as a player as well as the second retirement of his number. The event was also a fund-raiser for the National Mentoring Partnership, whose programs he had helped develop as a board member.

“There are no other people’s kids in this country,” he told the crowd. “They’re the children of the nation, and I refuse to be at war with them. I’ll always do anything I can to make life better for a kid.”

He made commercials, signed autographs for serious collectors (for a fee) and delivered motivational speeches.

Russell married for the fourth time, to Jeannine Fiorito, in 2016. His first marriage, to Rose Swisher, ended in divorce, as did his second marriage, to Dorothy Anstett. His third wife, Marilyn Nault, died…

Read more at www.nytimes.com

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