Dorothy Anstett: Miss USA whose love life got affected by the stigma of interracial marriage

After experiencing marriage once, Dorothy Anstett made the decision never to attempt it again. During a period when the consequences of interracial marriage still persisted, the model tied the knot with famed basketball player Bill Russell. Unfortunately, he had to face the consequences. In this article will read about Dorothy Anstett: Miss USA, whose love life got affected by the stigma of interracial marriage.

So, here’s what you need to know about the former Miss USA, whose affair with an African-American man led to the downfall of her marriage.

dorothy anstett

Dorothy Anstett biography

In 1947, Dorothy Katherine Anstet moved to Rosslyn Heights, a city in the state of New York, USA. When she was twelve, her family moved to Washington, which is the capital of the United States of America.

Anstett was brought up in a sizeable household that consisted of nine children. Her father was employed at a factory that produced airplanes, and she was raised in a spacious six-bedroom house located by a lake alongside her siblings. At that point in time, just one of her siblings resided away from the rest of the family.

For her high school education, Anstett received a scholarship to attend the prestigious all-girls school, Convent of the Sacred Heart in Forest Ridge. At the time, it was the first fully-funded scholarship given by the school.

He completed his college education at the University of Washington, majoring in English, and majored in drama.

During her time in academia, she delved into the realm of beauty pageants. Anstett credited her Miss USA triumph to the fact that she belonged to a large family.

During the 1960s, she stated in an interview that her reason for participating in beauty contests was to acquire money to cover her educational expenses. She believed that her triumph in the competition resulted from the values and determination ingrained in her upbringing.

Following her completion of college, the pageant winner pursued additional education by earning a master’s degree in Educational Psychology.

Dorothy Anstett career

Despite winning the 17th Miss USA pageant, Anstett never intended to become a beauty queen, as her modeling career began solely to support her college education financially.

Due to her parents’ lack of wealth and her requirement for monetary aid, she decided to participate in a community beauty contest, which was the initial phase toward her celebrity status.

Anstett took part in the Miss Washington pageant in 1967, a year prior to her impressive triumph. Despite securing the runner-up spot, her resolute attitude remained unchanged.

Anstett reached the highest point of her career in 1968 by winning the highly sought-after title of Miss USA.

Anstett is recognized for her remarkable bodily features and consistently received recognition as the most curvaceous participant in the beauty pageant. She stands at a height of 5’9″ and boasts measurements of 30-25-36, exuding poise and self-assurance.

Anstett revealed that during her time in eighth grade, she viewed herself as a thin and lanky individual, demonstrating her personal growth in terms of self-image.

Despite the thrill of her pageant wins, Anstett remained devoted to her studies. She persisted in attending college and actively tutored disadvantaged students, demonstrating her dedication to academic achievements and charitable acts.

Dorothy Anstett’s net worth

Apart from her Miss USA 1968 victory, Anstett has remained in obscurity, with minimal knowledge about her personal life available to the general public.

As a result, a restricted amount of data is available regarding her present monetary value.

Dorothy Anstett family

The man who goes by the name of Anstett, was born to Francis Duane Anstett (father) and Agnes Anstett (mother), who belong to a family of Caucasian ethnicity. Anstet is the second of nine siblings.

Anstett’s family consists of 11 members, including her four brothers, four sisters, and parents. In an interview with the Argus-Courier newspaper in June of 1968, Anstett shared that her family had a “population: 11” sign on their front lawn.

In Kirkland, Washington, USA, Anstett, and her family resided in a spacious lakeside property with six bedrooms.

Dorothy Anstett and Bill Russell

Dorothy Anstett and Bill Russell were married, but their marriage did not last long.

Bill Russell, who is widely regarded as one of the most exceptional basketball players in history, is the sole husband of Anstett.

Born in Monroe, Louisiana, on February 12, 1934, Russell achieved remarkable success during his time in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1956 to 1969, where he predominantly played as a center for the Boston Celtics.

Russell was highly successful during his time as a player, having won an impressive 11 NBA championships, the most ever won by a single player in NBA history. His victories were attained within a mere 13 seasons when the Boston Celtics dominated the league during that era.

Russell was renowned for his outstanding defensive aptitude, proficiency in blocking shots, and expertise in gathering rebounds. He played a crucial role in the Celtics’ magnificent reign during the 1960s.

Besides his successful stint in basketball, Anstett’s former spouse also made a notable contribution to the civil rights movement in the US. He was a significant personality in advocating for equal treatment of all races in sports and society at large. Russell’s fame as one of the earliest African-American basketball players to attain superstar status in the NBA opened doors for future generations of black sportspeople.

Following his retirement as a player, Russell pursued a career as a coach and eventually transitioned into broadcasting. His outstanding record in the sport of basketball led to his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, honored for his accomplishments as both a player (in 1975) and later as a coach (in 2021). Throughout his involvement in the sport, Russell’s contributions have had a profound influence, leaving an enduring imprint on basketball.

As per the book “King of the Court,” Anstett and Russell had crossed paths years before their marriage in the 1970s; before tying the knot, the renowned NBA player had been married to Rose Swisher and fathered three children from 1956 to 1973. This is why it is commonly stated that Russell parted ways with Swisher in the same era when he encountered and wedded Anstett.

Russell initially contacted Anstett on behalf of a mutual friend, marking their first interaction and leading to them developing a strong friendship.

As time passed, their friendship became stronger, and they eventually entered into a romantic relationship. Four years after ending his first marriage, Anstett and Russell exchanged their vows on June 8, 1977. Their wedding was intimate and took place on Mercer Island in King County, Washington, the same location where the NBA player would tragically pass away in 2022.

Although Anstett was the second spouse of, Russell, she declared her vows for the first time as a beauty queen. Notably, Anstett was younger than her husband by 13 years, making their marriage distinct.

Russell came into this world in 1934, while the model’s birth year was 1947. Therefore, at the time of tying the knot, Anstett was 30 years of age, and Russell was 43.

Despite their deep affection for one another, Anstett and Russell’s marriage was hindered by the fact that it was interracial.

Despite interracial marriage becoming legal in 1967 thanks to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia, it was a full ten years after the couple had tied the knot.

In addition, their varying racial appearances caused multiple troubles. During the 1960s, Russell was given the moniker Felton X due to his involvement in the Black Pride movement. Moreover, for a person who held a strong stance on race, marrying one of the most stunning women in the United States at a period when interracial matrimony was yet to be widely accepted in that region was certain to elicit a lot of censure concerning their union.

The considerable difference in age and the controversial nature of their union that was not entirely embraced by society, combined with normal challenges encountered by newly-wed couples, indicated a decline in their marital relationship.

Anstett and Russell parted ways in 1980, ending their three-year relationship. Since they did not share any children, they didn’t have to worry about custody or visitation arrangements.

Dorothy Anstett age

Born on June 28, 1947, Anstett presently has an age of 75 years, and her next birthday in 2023 will mark her 76th year of life.

Dorothy Anstett now

Following her divorce from Russell, Dorothy Anestet decided to lead a low-key existence away from the cameras and the public eye.

Russell has been married twice since his divorce from the model, but Anstett has chosen not to enter into another marriage. She has chosen to live a secluded life, away from public scrutiny. It has been reported online that Anstett is currently residing in Seattle, Washington.

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