Who was Marilyn Nault? Everything you need to know about late legend Bill Russell's third wife

Bill Russell and others at the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony
Bill Russell and others at the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony

Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell passed away on Sunday at the age of 88. The 11-time champion was a basketball and civil rights pioneer. According to his verified Twitter account, the NBA legend died peacefully.

While Bill Russell died with his wife Jeannine by his side, he was preceded in death by his third wife, Marilyn Nault.

Who was Marilyn Nault?

Bill Russell (far left) and third wife Marilyn Nault (far right).
Bill Russell (far left) and third wife Marilyn Nault (far right).

Explore the NBA Draft 2024 with our free NBA Mock Draft Simulator & be the GM of your favorite NBA team.

Not much about Bill Russell's marriage to Marilyn Nault is known because the couple avoided the public eye during their time together from 1996-2009.

Several details about Marilyn Nault were revealed in her obituary following her death in 2009.

Marilyn Nault Russell was born on January 15, 1950, in Concordia, Kansas. This made her almost sixteen years younger than Russell.

After relocating to Seattle upon graduating from high school, Nault began working as a jewelry salesperson. During that time, she met Russell. The two married days after the NBA legend's 66th birthday.

Over the next nine years, the two lived happily and frequently traveled until Nault's untimely passing in 2009. Just a few weeks before Russell's birthday and their ninth wedding anniversary, Marilyn Nault Russell passed away from cancer.

Russell revealed in an interview with the NBA that former NBA commissioner David Stern called Nault up a few weeks before her death to inform her that he was naming the Finals MVP award after her husband.

Nault's passing affected Russell's approach to life, and the NBA legend stayed single for several years.

Bill Russell's life after his third wife Marilyn Nault passed away

Russell would return to the spotlight after his third wife's death.
Russell would return to the spotlight after his third wife's death.

After the tragic passing of his third wife, Russell dedicated part of his life to fighting cancer. The Boston Celtics great even partnered with an LA Lakers legend for the cause.

The Harold (and Carol) Pump Foundation is committed to curing cancer, and Russell was one of its biggest supporters.

Russell went on to meet and marry former professional golfer Jeannine Fiorito in 2018 when he was 84. During this time, Russell was also inducted into the Hall of Fame again.

We at Sportskeeda send our condolences to the family and friends of Bill Russell. May they be comforted during this difficult time as they mourn and celebrate his life. May he rest in peace.

Quick Links

Edited by Windy Goodloe
App download animated image Get the free App now