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Instagram/realbillrussell  | Getty Images
Source: Instagram/realbillrussell | Getty Images

Bill Russell’s Wife Jeannine Russell Is a Former Pro Golfer - Facts about Her Life and Marriage

Bettina Dizon
Aug 03, 2022
07:15 A.M.
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Bill Russell's Wife, Jeannine Russell, was also in the sports industry like her late husband. Aside from being a pro golfer, here are some facts about the NBA icon's fourth wife.

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When Bill Russell passed away, his wife Jeannine Fiorito was by his side, as she had been for many years. She also thanked her husband's family and friends for their support and condolences during the difficult time.

Jeannine, famously known as the sports star's wife, was also in the same industry. However, not many may know about her private life. Let's take a look at some facts about her.

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WHEN DID JEANNINE AND BILL GET MARRIED?

Not much is known about Jeannine's life before meeting Bill, but her husband previously disclosed that she was a pro-golfer in a post. He said:

"The wife & I spent the day on the golf course. Ole #6 got a lucky bounce. I need all the help I can get against an Ex-Pro golfer."

Jeannine was a Canadian professional golfer who joined several tournaments from 2007 to 2010, mainly participating in the CN Canadian Women's Tour. In 2010, she was dubbed Player of the Year as per Gold Canada.

The 11-time NBA champion also penned another tribute on Valentine's Day, where it seemed that they played a round of golf for the day's activity.

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In 2016, Jeannie tied the knot with Bill and became his fourth wife. Jeannine's real name was Jeannine Fiorito until she adopted Russel's surname after the wedding. In 2020, the couple renewed their vows right before the COVID-19 lockdown, surrounded by close family and friends. The groom shared the memorable occasion on social media, writing in a tweet:

"On this day just before the Covid shut down we were able to say 'I Do' again with the ones we love. Tell the people you love how you feel, no day is guaranteed."

A year later, he shared another post to commemorate the special day. Bill noted that they renewed their vows on January 24 - and 24 was Kobe Bryant's number, so this was a connection to him from Bill's side.

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He said: "Happy one-year vow renewal @Anniversary to my wonderful wife. We realized today we were married on the 8th and renewed our vows on the 24th. The #Kobe connection goes deep."

INSIDE JEANNINE'S HAPPY RELATIONSHIP WITH BILL

Jeannine and her husband seemed to have a happy life together following their marriage and were never shy to show their relationship to the world. Although they lived a quiet life, Bill would share bits and pieces of their days, including special occasions.

Previously, he paid tribute to Jeannine on her birthday, referring to her as his "beautiful wife." He shared another photo from their wedding, where they looked sweetly at each other.

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The 11-time NBA champion also penned another tribute on Valentine's Day, where it seemed that they played a round of golf for the day's activity. The pair's Thanksgiving was spent quietly at home, and they commemorated it with a selfie on Instagram. He wrote:

"#Thankful to be with the one I Love. This is how we like to celebrate."

They also celebrate special occasions, including St. Patrick's Day and Halloween. On St. Patrick's Day, the pair donned matching green shirts that read, "Wicked Smaaht." Meanwhile, on Halloween, they dressed up as bacon and eggs.

Besides his career, Bill became a leading civil rights activist in sports and used his voice to raise awareness of the injustices.

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JEANNINE WAS THE FOURTH WIFE OF BILL

Although Jeannine had no children with Bill, she became a stepmom to his three children, Jacob, Karen, and William Russel Jr., from previous relationships. The NBA star shares his three kids with Rose Switcher, his first wife. Bill divorced Rose in 1973 after welcoming their three children.

In 1977, he walked down the aisle for the second time to marry Dorothy Anstett but divorced her three years later. He married his third wife, Marilyn Nault, in 1996 and remained wed until 2009.

Bill Russell built his career on the basketball court as a Boston Celtics player. He later made history as the first Black head coach in the NBA league and was referred to as the "most prolific winner in American sports history."

Besides his career, Bill became a leading civil rights activist in sports and used his voice to raise awareness of the injustices.

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