Short story writer based in 1950s New York City, Russell was the alter ego of Captain Benjamin Sisko. Russell, who wrote a notable short story, "Deep Space Nine," struggled with prejudice in real life and used science fiction to portray a world where a man's skin color was irrelevant. However, as Russell's hero of "Deep Space Nine" was a black man the publishers declined to print the story fearing the reading audience would not accept an African-American as a story's main protagonist.