Russell Wendell Simmons (born October 4, 1957) is an American entrepreneur, the co-founder, with Rick Rubin, of the pioneering hip-hop label Def Jam, and creator of the clothing fashion lines Phat Farm, Argyleculture, and American Classics. .
Russell Simmons is the younger brother of Daniel Simmons, Jr., and he is the older brother of Rev. Joseph Simmons, better known as "Run" of Run-DMC, and son of Daniel Simmons, Sr, a public school administrator and Evelyn Simmons, a New York City park administrator. His brother Daniel Simmons, Jr., is an accomplished abstract artist.Russell Simmons is the third richest figure in hip-hop, having a net-worth estimate of $340 million.
In March 2006, Lee and Simmons announced that they would be getting a divorce. Their divorce finalized in January 2009. They would continue to work together on Phat Farm and Baby Phat clothing lines. As of January 2009 Russell has begun dating Sports Illustrated model Julie Henderson.
In May 2009, Simmons was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Slavery Memorial at the United Nations to Honor the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Simmons is a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation (TM) and a supporter of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace, which was established to ensure that any child in America who wants to learn and practice TM can do so.
He is also majority shareholder in Hip-Hop website, www.GlobalGrind.com