New York Times art critic, 1974-1990, and author of art history books. Russell was the son of Isaac James Russell and Harriet Elizabeth Atkins (Russell). Raised by his grandparents, he attended St. Paul's school, London before studying philosophy and economics at Magdalen College, Oxford, receiving a B.A. in 1940. Initially, Russell worked at the Tate Gallery as an unpaid intern until the building was bombed during the Blitzkrieg; he was then evacuated to Worcestershire. He served in the British Admiralty during World War II in Naval Intelligence Division between 1942 until 1945.