Carlos Ray "Chuck" Norris born March 10, 1940 is an American martial artist and actor. After serving in the United States Air Force, he began his rise to fame as a martial artist and has since founded his own school, Chun Kuk Do. As a result of his "tough guy" image, an Internet phenomenon began in 2005 known as Chuck Norris facts, ascribing various implausible or even impossible feats to Norris.
Norris appeared in a number of action films, such as Way of the Dragon in which he starred alongside Bruce Lee and was The Cannon Group's leading star in the 1980s.He next played the starring role in the television series Walker, Texas Ranger from 1993 to 2001.
Norris is a devout Christian and politically conservative. He has written several books on Christianity and donated to a number of Republican candidates and causes. In 2007 and 2008, he campaigned for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who was running for the Republican nomination for President in 2008. Norris also writes a column for the conservative website WorldNetDaily.
* 1 Early life
* 2 Rise to fame
* 3 Walker, Texas Ranger
* 4 Philanthropy
* 5 Product endorsements
* 6 Personal life
* 7 Political views
* 8 Chun Kuk Do
* 9 Chuck Norris facts
* 10 Filmography
* 11 References
* 12 Further reading
* 13 External links
Norris was born in Ryan, Oklahoma, the son of Wilma (née Scarberry) and Ray Norris, who was a mechanic, bus driver, and truck driver. Norris' paternal grandfather (an immigrant) and maternal grandmother were of Irish descent, while his paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather were Cherokee Native Americans. Norris was named after Carlos Berry, his father's minister. He has two younger brothers, Wieland (deceased) and Aaron (a Hollywood producer). When Norris was sixteen, his parents divorced, and he later relocated to Prairie Village, Kansas, and then to Torrance, California, with his mother and brothers.
Norris describes his childhood as downbeat. He was nonathletic, shy, and scholastically mediocre. Other children taunted him about his mixed ethnicity, and Norris daydreamed about beating up his tormentors. Norris mentioned in his autobiography that his father had a very serious problem with drinking and "wasn't there" a lot for him growing up. Norris admitted that he loved his father but did not like him. However, he professed that he only felt pity for the man because "that was just how he was, and he missed so much."
He joined the United States Air Force as an Air Policeman (AP) in 1958 and was sent to Osan Air Base, South Korea. It was there that Norris acquired the nickname Chuck and began his training in Tang Soo Do (tangsudo), an interest that led to black belts in that art and the founding of the Chun Kuk Do ("Universal Way") form. He created the education associations United Fighting Arts Federation and "KickStart" (formerly "Kick Drugs Out of America"), a middle school and high school–based program intended to give at-risk children a focus point in life through the martial arts. When he returned to the United States, he continued to act as an AP at March Air Force Base, California. Norris was discharged in August 1962. He worked for the Northrop Corporation and opened a chain of karate schools including a storefront school in his then-hometown of Torrance on Hawthorne Boulevard. Norris' official website lists celebrity clients at the schools; among them Steve McQueen, Chad McQueen, Bob Barker, Priscilla Presley, Donny Osmond and Marie Osmond.
Rise to fame
Norris in 1976.
Norris was defeated in his first two tournaments, dropping decisions to Joe Lewis and Allen Steen and three matches at the International Karate Championships to Tony Tulleners. By 1967 Norris had improved enough that he scored victories over the likes of Lewis, Skipper Mullins, Arnold Urquidez, Victor Moore, Ron Marchini, and Steve Sanders. In early 1968, Norris suffered the tenth and last loss of his career, losing an upset decision to Louis Delgado. On November 24, 1968, he avenged his defeat to Delgado and by doing so won the Professional Middleweight Karate champion title, which he held for six consecutive years. In 1969, he won Karate's triple crown for the most tournament wins of the year, and the Fighter of the Year award by Black Belt Magazine.
Also, in 1969, Norris made his acting debut in the Dean Martin film The Wrecking Crew.
In June 1970, his younger brother Wieland, a private in the 101st Airborne Division was killed in Vietnam while on patrol in the defence of Firebase Ripcord. Norris later dedicated his Missing in Action films to his brother's memory. At a martial arts demonstration in Long Beach, Norris met the soon-to-be famous martial artist Bruce Lee. In 1972 he acted as Lee's nemesis in the movie Way of the Dragon (titled Return of the Dragon in its U.S. distribution), which is widely credited with launching him toward stardom. In Asia, Norris is still known primarily for this role. In 1974, McQueen encouraged him to begin acting classes at MGM. Chuck Norris retired with a karate record of 183-10-2.
Norris' first starring role was 1977's Breaker! Breaker!, and subsequent films such as Good Guys Wear Black (1978), The Octagon (1980), An Eye for an Eye (1981), and Lone Wolf McQuade proved his increasing box office bankability. In 1984, Norris starred in Missing in Action, the first of a series of prisoner of war rescue fantasies themed around the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue that were produced by Israeli cousins Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus and released under their Cannon Films banner. Contrary to reports, Norris publicly said he was never offered the part of the Sensei of the Kobra Kai dojo in the film The Karate Kid.
Over the next four years, Norris became Cannon's most prominent star, appearing in eight films, including Code of Silence, The Delta Force, and Firewalker, in which he co-starred with Academy Award winner Louis Gossett, Jr.. Many of the aforementioned films were produced by Chuck Norris's brother Aaron, as were several episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger. In 1986, he was involved in the production of the Ruby Spears cartoon Karate Kommandos.
It is occasionally cited that Norris made history in 1997 when he was the first Westerner in the documented history of Tae Kwon Do to be given the rank of 8th Degree Black Belt Grand Master. However, Norris appears to have been misled about this as there were at least two other U.S. Black Belts (Charles 'Chuck' Sereff and Edward Sell) awarded TKD 8th Dan several years prior. On July 1, 2000, Norris was presented the Golden Lifetime Achievement Award by the World Karate Union Hall of Fame.
On March 28, 2007, Commandant Gen. James T. Conway made Norris an honorary United States Marine during a dinner at the commandant’s residence in Washington, D.C.