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Carlos Ray "Chuck" Norris (born March 10, 1940) is an Americamarker martial artist, actor and media personality. 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. 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. As a result of his "tough guy" image, an Internet phenomenon began in 2005 known as Chuck Norris facts, ascribing various implausible feats of strength to Norris.

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 Arkansasmarker Governor Mike Huckabee, who was running for the Republican nomination for President in 2008. Norris also writes a column for the conservative website WorldNetDaily. Norris has stated that he currently supports the Republican member of congress Ron Paul.

Early life

Norris was born in Ryan, Oklahomamarker, 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, Kansasmarker, and then to Torrance, Californiamarker, 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 Basemarker, South Koreamarker. 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 Basemarker, California. Norris was discharged in August 1962. He worked for the Northrop Corporation and opened a chain of karate schools, which Chad McQueen, Steve McQueen's son, attended.

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 1970, his younger brother Weiland was killed in Vietnam. Norris later dedicated his Missing in Action films to his brother's memory. At a martial arts demonstration in Long Beachmarker, 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 dinner at the commandant’s residence in Washington, D.C.marker

Walker, Texas Ranger

By the close of the 1980s, Cannon Films had faded from prominence, and Norris's star appeal seemed to go with it. He reprised his Delta Force role for MGM, which had acquired the Cannon library after the latter's Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Norris went on to make several more largely ignored films before making a transition to television. In 1993, he began shooting the series Walker, Texas Ranger, which lasted eight years on CBS and continued in heavy syndication on other channels, notably the Hallmark Channel.

On October 17, 2005, CBS premiered the Sunday Night Movie of the Week, Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire. The production was a continuation of the series, and not scripted to be a reunion movie. Norris reprised his role as Cordell Walker for the movie. He has stated that future Walker, Texas Ranger Movie of the Week projects are expected; however, this was severely impaired by CBS's 2006–2007 season decision to no longer regularly schedule Movies of the Week on Sunday night.

World Combat League

In 2005 Norris founded the World Combat League (WCL), a full-contact, team-based martial arts competition. Each team (consisting of 5 men and 1 woman) is from a different city or region, and the league intends to grow to more cities in the United States and have both European and Asian leagues.

A portion of the proceeds from the World Combat League are dedicated to support Norris' charity KickStart.

Personal life

Norris married Diane Holechek in 1958. In 1963 their first child, Mike, was born. His daughter Dina was born in 1964 to a woman he was not married to. Then, he had a second son, Eric, with his wife in 1965. After 30 years of marriage, Norris and Holechek divorced in 1988.

In November 1998 he married former model Gena O'Kelley, born in 1963 and 23 years Norris' junior. O'Kelley had two children from a previous marriage. She delivered twins in 2001: Dakota Alan Norris, a boy, and Danilee Kelly Norris, a girl.

On September 22, 2004, Norris told Entertainment Tonight's Mary Hart that his daughter Dina was the result of an extramarital affair. He did not meet her until she was 26, although she learned that he was her father when she was 16. She sent a letter to his home informing him of their relationship. After meeting her, Norris said he knew she was his upon seeing her.
Norris in 2006

Now an outspoken Christian, Norris is the author of several Christian-themed books, such as The Justice Riders. He has also been in a few TV commercials promoting Bible study and prayer in public schools, in addition to efforts to reduce drug use. In 2006, he began penning a column for the conservative news website WorldNetDaily, sharing his "musings about faith, family, freedom, country, loyalty – maybe even kickboxing." In his columns, he has expressed his belief in Biblical creationism, that those who are troubled should turn to Jesus, and is quoted as saying "true patriots" do not stay clear of discussing religion and politics.

Norris serves on the board of directors of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools, an organization promoting the use of the Bible in public schools, and also speaks on behalf of organizations advocating official prayers in public schools.

Norris has received a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from the Machado family.

Political views

Norris is a Republican, often championing the views of the party. Norris has donated more than $32,000 to Republican candidates and organizations since 1988. On January 26, 2007, Norris filled in for Sean Hannity as a co-host on the popular Fox News Channel debate program Hannity & Colmes alongside Alan Colmes.

Chuck Norris supports gun rights and ownership and is against public schools condoning homosexuality. He does not believe in evolution and subscribes to intelligent design.

On October 22, 2007, Norris announced his endorsement of Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee for President. Norris said, "I believe the only one who has all of the characteristics to lead America forward into the future is ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee."

On May 10, 2008, Norris was the commencement speaker at Jerry Falwell's Liberty Universitymarker addressing a graduating class of more than 4,000.

After the 2008 presidential election, Norris drafted a letter to President elect Barack Obama, stating that he should "use and cite the Constitution ... protect American life ... learn from the mistakes of your Democratic predecessors ... [and] lead more from the center".

On November 18, 2008, Norris became one of the first members of show business to express support for the California Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage, and he heavily criticized the gay community for "interfering" with the democratic process and the double standard he perceived in criticizing the Mormon Church without criticizing African Americans, who had voted for the measure by a wide margin.

Chun Kuk Do

A placard outside Norris's karate studio
Norris created the martial art Chun Kuk Do, which is based primarily on Tang Soo Do and includes elements from every combat style he knows. Like many other martial arts, Chun Kuk Do includes a code of honor and rules to live by. These rules are from Chuck Norris's personal code. They are:
  1. I will develop myself to the maximum of my potential in all ways.
  2. I will forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements.
  3. I will continually work at developing love, happiness and loyalty in my family.
  4. I will look for the good in all people and make them feel worthwhile.
  5. If I have nothing good to say about a person, I will say nothing.
  6. I will always be as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.
  7. I will maintain an attitude of open-mindedness.
  8. I will maintain respect for those in authority and demonstrate this respect at all times.
  9. I will always remain loyal to God, my country, family and my friends.
  10. I will remain highly goal-oriented throughout my life because that positive attitude helps my family, my country and myself.

Fight record

His record, based on tournament matches, is estimated to be 183-10-2, though some sources list it as 65-5. Norris won an estimated 30 or more tournaments, beating an average of five opponents per tournament. At the New York tournaments, he defeated 12-13 opponents per tournament.

  • 1963: 15th Airforce Judo Tournament, Fairchild Airforce Base, Spokane, Washington, March 22-23, fought as Carlos Norris: Result unknown.
  • 1964: Defeated unknown opponent in Salt Lake City Tournament (debut).
  • 1964: Defeated unknown opponent in semi-finals in Salt Lake City Tournament.
  • 1964: Defeated by unknown opponent in finals in Salt Lake City Tournament.
  • 1964: Defeated Ron Marchini in the finals at the Tak Kubota's All-Stars Tournament in Los Angeles, California by half a point.
  • 1965: Defeated by Tony Tulleners at Takayuki Kubota's All-Stars Tournament in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1965: Defeated by Tony Tulleners
  • 1965: Defeated by Tony Tulleners
  • 1965: Defeated by Joe Lewis.
  • 1965: Defeated Ron Marchini for the Grand Championship of the Winter Nationals in San Jose, California.
  • 1966: Defeated by Allen Steen at the Long Beach Tournament promoted by Ed Parker.
  • 1966: Won the National Winter Karate Championships in San Jose, California promoted by Jim Mather.
  • 1966: Defeated Skipper Mullins.
  • 1966: Defeated Joe Lewis in finals of the Tournament of Champions in New York City.
  • 1966: Won the All-Star Championship Tournament in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1966: Defeated Skipper Mullins.
  • 1967: Won American Tang Soo Do Championship in Stockton, California.
  • 1967: Defeated 11 opponents in elimination matches at the All-American Karate Championships in Madision Square Garden in New York City.
  • 1967: Defeated Hiroshi Nakamura (Japan) in semi-finals of the All-American Karate Championships in New York by points 12-1.
  • 1967: Defeated Joe Lewis for the Grand Championship at the All-American Karate Championships in New York.
  • 1967: Won the World Karate Middleweight Title in Long Beach, California
  • 1967: Defeated Skipper Mullins.
  • 1967: Defeated 11 opponents in elimination matches at the Grand Champion Internationals on August 12, 1967.
  • 1967: Defeated Carlos Bundo at the Grand Champion Internationals on August 12, 1967.

  • 1967: Defeated Joe Lewis by one point at the Grand Champion Internationals on August 12, 1967.
  • 1967: Won All American Karate Championships promoted by Henry Cho.
  • 1967: Won National Tang So Do Tournament in Silver Spring, Maryland.
  • 1967: Defeated by Marcos Solar at Kini K. Wang Tournament.
  • 1967: Defeated Skipper Mullins.
  • 1967: Defeated Skipper Mullins.
  • 1967: Defeated Joe Lewis.
  • 1967: Defeated Arnold Urquidez.
  • 1967: Defeated Victor Moore.
  • 1967: Defeated Steve Sanders.
  • 1967: Won All American Karate Championships.
  • 1968: Defeated Fred Wren in Dallas Tournament. (Norris' nose was broken)
  • 1968: Defeated Skipper Mullins in semi finals in Dallas Tournament.(Norris fought with a broken nose).
  • 1968: Defeated by Joe Lewis in finals of Dallas Tournament promoted by Allen Steen. (Norris fought with a broken nose).
  • 1968: Defeated by Jim Butin in the opening match of a tournament in Silver Springs, Maryland.
  • 1968: Defeated Skipper Mullins in Long Beach, California.
  • 1968: Won the Internationals (Dallas, Texas).
  • 1968: Defeated Louis Delgado.
  • 1968: Defeated by Louis Delgado in West Coast vs, East Coast.
  • 1968: Defeated Theodore Wong in Orient vs. U.S. in New York.
  • 1968: Defeated Louis Delgado on November 24 on points, 101 to 93, to win the World Professional Middleweight Title at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. (Norris suffered a broken jaw)
  • 1968: Draw with George Chalian, on Governor's Island, in New York.
  • 1968: Won All-American Karate Championships in New York defeating 13 opponents.
  • 1968: Won the National Tournament of Champions in Cleveland, Ohio.
  • 1969: Won The Internationals.
  • 1970: Won All Star Teams Championship in Long Beach, California.
  • 1970: Defeated unknown opponent on January 17 at the Long Beach Sports Arena for the U.S. Team Championship. Norris announced his retirement following the match.
  • 1972: Draw with Willie Adams-U.S. Teams Championship.

Chuck Norris facts

In late 2005, Norris became the object of an internet phenomenon known as "Chuck Norris Facts", which document fictional, often absurdly heroic feats and characteristics about Norris. The phenomenon originally started with the "Vin Diesel Fact Generator", and Chuck Norris Facts were created as a by-product, often using the same facts featured in the Vin Diesel Fact Generator. In time, Chuck Norris Facts became popular, even more so than the original Vin Diesel Fact Generator. Norris has written his own response to the parody on his website, stating that he does not feel offended by them and finds some of them funny.

On November 29, 2007, Gotham Books, the adult division of Penguin USA, released a book entitled The Truth About Chuck Norris: 400 facts about the World's Greatest Human based on the Chuck Norris Facts. Norris filed suit in December against Penguin USA claiming "trademark infringement, unjust enrichment and privacy rights."



  2. Marine Corps Times
  3. Daily Herald
  4. Gena Norris Notes
  5. See External Links Drew Marshall Interview
  6. "[1]", BJJ Instructors and Students, URL Last accessed June 4, 2005.
  8. WorldNetDaily, Guns, God and gays
  9. On Chuck Norris 'mania' sweeping the Net
  11. Mike Huckabee official website

Further reading

  • The Secret Power Within: Zen Solutions to Real Problems, Zen Buddhism and martial arts. Little, Brown and Company (1996). ISBN 0-316-58350-2.
  • Against All Odds: My Story, an autobiography. Broadman & Holman Publishers (2004). ISBN 0-8054-3161-6.
  • The Justice Riders, Wild West novels. Broadman & Holman Publishers (2006). ISBN 0-8054-4032-1.
  • Norris, Chuck. Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America, Regnery Publishing (2008). ISBN 978-1596985582

External links

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