Broadcast Pioneers Luncheon
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Born on Halloween, October 31, 1926, Broadcast Pioneers member Bill Russell joined the staff of Channel 6 in 1953 when it was WFIL-TV and retired almost four decades later in 1991. When he retired, he was Studio crew chief and head lighting director.
During his career at Channel 6, he worked with many local celebrities. When Broadcast Pioneers member Bill "Wee Willie" Webber did Breakfast Time on Channel 6 in the late fifties and early sixties, Webber had a crew of two, Bill Russell and Broadcast Pioneers member Ralph DiCocco, brother-in-law of Broadcast Pioneers member John Carlton, who also worked at the WFIL stations during this time era.
Russell also worked other well known shows like Sally Starr, Rex Morgan, Chief Halftown, Happy the Clown, Dialing for Dollars, Captain Noah, Larry Ferrari, Al Alberts and American Bandstand (just to name a few).
Bill served in the United States Marine Corp for seven and a half years. He was there for both World War II and the Korean Conflict, although during the latter, he was stationed in America as a trainer. He was a Marine Corp League member.
In 1950, Bill Russell married his "first" wife. That was over a half-century ago and so far, Bill said in 2007, he had no reason to "trade her in on a newer model."
Broadcast Pioneers member Bill Russell passed away on Thanksgiving evening, November 22, 2012 at 9 pm. He had a stroke three years before and two months before his passing, he fell and broke some ribs. He had lost a lot of weight and never fully recovered from his injuries and illness. Bill Russell turned 86 on Halloween 2012.
On Friday evening, November 22, 2013, Bill Russell was inducted into the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia's "Hall of Fame."
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Bob Kravitz
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