In 1979, he received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Southwest Baptist University.
Most of his adult life, he has been associated with several business endeavors, including manufacturing (Detroit Tool), where he served as a corporate officer, active in day to day management until 1989. He now serves as a consultant to Detroit Tool Companies.
Other interests and investments include farmland in Eastern Laclede County and a small truck leasing company in Lebanon. He is a member of the First Baptist Church in Lebanon and is active in community and business affairs. He is a veteran of the Air Force, Korean War.
Senator Russell was first elected to the Missouri Senate in 1976, serving twelve counties in south central and southwest Missouri. He has been re-elected in 1980, 1984 and 1988. Elected in 1992 to the new 33rd Senatorial District which includes the counties of Camden, Dallas, Laclede, Pulaski, Webster and Wright.
Senator Russell served as Minority Floor Leader in the Missouri House of Representatives in 1971 and 1972.
He is now serving on the Senate Committees on Appropriations; Education; Ethics; Gubernatorial Appointments; Legislative Research (Statutory); and Transportation.
He was appointed to the Missouri State Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees in December 1990.