Chuck Norris Biography

Chuck Norris is a martial artist and actor who founded his own school of martial art, Chun Kuk Do. This biography of Chuck Norris provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline.

Chuck Norris
Quick Facts

Birthday: March 10, 1940

Nationality: American

Famous: Quotes By Chuck Norris Native Americans

Age: 79 Years, 79 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Pisces

Also Known As: Carlos Ray Norris

Born in: Ryan, Oklahoma, United States

Famous as: Martial artist

Height: 5'10" (178 cm), 5'10" Males

political ideology: Republican


Spouse/Ex-: Dianne Holechek

father: Ray Norris

mother: Wilma Norris

siblings: Aaron Norris, Wieland Norris

children: Dakota Alan Norris, Danilee Kelly Norris, Dina Norris, Eric Norris, Mike Norris

U.S. State: Oklahoma

Founder/Co-Founder: World Combat League

discoveries/inventions: United Fighting Arts Federation, KickStart

More Facts

education: North Torrance High School, Torrance, CA (1958)

awards: 2001 - Veteran of the Year award for significant contributions
and continued patriotism.

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Carlos Ray “Chuck” Norris is a martial art expert who has appeared in a number of action films and television roles. He is most famous for being a martial artist and for founding his own school of martial arts, Chun Kuk Do. For this highly respected individual, who grew up as a mediocre and shy child who was not in the least athletically inclined, name and fame seemed to be a farfetched dream. While serving in the United States Air Force as an Air Policeman he was stationed at the Osan Air Base in South Korea where his interest in martial arts began. He began training in Tang Soo Do and earned black belts in that art which paved the way for him to become a martial artist. He went on to open a chain of Karate schools after his discharge from the Air Force and founded his own martial arts school, the Chun Kuk Do. In his illustrious career as a martial artist, he has scored victories over renowned experts like Skipper Mullins, Victor Moore and Steve Sanders. He not only won the Professional Middleweight Karate champion title, but also held it for six consecutive years. In addition to being a martial artist and an actor, Norris is also a well known author of Christian books.

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Chuck Norris
Childhood & Early Life
  • He was the eldest son of Wilma and Ray Norris. His father who did odd jobs, such as, mechanic, bus and truck driver, was an alcoholic. His parents divorced when he was a teenager and his father dropped out of his life. He helped his mother raise his younger brothers.
  • He attended North Torrance High School. He was a shy and average student who did not think much of himself.
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  • He began his career in the United States Air Force as an Air Policeman in 1958. He was sent to Osan Air Base in South Korea where he became interested in martial arts. He began training in Tang Soo Do and earned black belt in that art.
  • He continued working as an Air Policeman after returning to the United States at the March Air Force Base in California. He started working for the Northrop Corporation after being discharged in 1962.
  • He opened a chain of Karate schools numbering more than 30 schools spread over different cities during the 1960s. He was very popular as an instructor and had several celebrity students including Steve McQueen, Bob Barker, and Priscilla Presley.
  • He also participated in various martial arts tournaments. He lost his first two tournaments to Joe Lewis and Allen Steen. He also lost three matches at the International Karate Championships to Tony Tulleners. However, he was not someone to be disheartened easily.
  • By the late 1960s, he had worked on his technique and won the Professional Middleweight Karate champion title on 24 November, 1968; he would defend this title five more times till 1974. He won Karate’s Triple Crown for the most tournament wins of the year in 1969.
  • He decided to try his hand at acting at the urging of his celebrity student, Steve McQueen. He made his acting debut in 1969 in the movie, ‘The Wrecking Crew’. This role was however uncredited.
  • He met the martial artist Bruce Lee during a martial arts demonstration in Long Beach. He appeared as Colt in Bruce Lee’s directorial debut, ‘Way of the Dragon’ in 1972. The movie was a super hit.
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  • At the behest of McQueen he began receiving acting classes at MGM. He had his first starring role in the 1977 action film ‘Breaker! Breaker!’ in which he played a trucker whose friend is killed by a policeman.
  • He proved to be quite a bankable actor during the 1980s. He appeared in a series of action films that included ‘The Octagon’ (1980), ‘Lone Wolf McQuade’ (1983), ‘Code of Silence’ (1985), and ‘Hero and the Terror’ (1988).
  • In 1990, he created the martial art style, Chun Kuk Do which is based on the Tang Soo Do art form. The Korean term Chun Kuk Do is loosely translated as ‘The Universal way’ in English. The United Fighting Arts Federation (UFAF) holds the Chun Kuk Do world championship tournament in Nevada.
  • In 1990, he became the first ever Westerner in the history of Tae Kwon Do to be given the rank of 8th Degree Black Belt Grand Master.
  • He starred in the long-running action crime drama television series, ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ which ran for eight seasons from 1993 till 2001. The series was broadcast in over 100 countries and was famous for its moral values.
  • A television movie, ‘Walker, Texas Ranger: Trial by Fire’ was made in 2005 which was based on the popular television series of the same name. Norris reprised the role of Cordell Walker in the movie—the same role he had portrayed in the series.
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Major Works
  • He founded the martial arts, Chun Kuk Do, which is a hybrid martial art style. It evolved from Tang Soo Do and borrows from elements of different fighting styles. The art form includes a code of honour and rules to live by.
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Awards & Achievements
  • He was named the Fighter of the Year by the ‘Black Belt Magazine’ in 1969.
  • He was presented by the Golden Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000 by the World Karate Union Hall of Fame.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • He married Dianne Holechek in 1958 and had two sons with her. He also had a daughter named Dina with a different woman even while he was married. He and Dianne divorced in 1988.
  • His second marriage was to former model Gena O’Kelley in 1998. The couple had twin children in 2001. He also has several grandchildren.
  • He is well known for his philanthropy and contributes towards organizations like Funds for Kids, the United Way, Vijay Amritraj Foundation, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
  • This martial artist is the subject of an ironic internet meme which lists absurdly heroic and funny fictional facts about him.

1. Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)

  (Crime, Romance, Action, Drama, Thriller, Western)

2. Meng long guo jiang (1972)

  (Drama, Thriller, Crime, Adventure, Action)

3. The Expendables 2 (2012)

  (Action, Adventure, Thriller)

4. Code of Silence (1985)

  (Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller)

5. The Delta Force (1986)

  (War, Drama, Thriller, Adventure, Action)

6. Forced Vengeance (1982)

  (Adventure, Thriller, Crime, Action)

7. Silent Rage (1982)

  (Action, Crime, Horror, Thriller, Sci-Fi)

8. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)

  (Sport, Comedy)

See the events in life of Chuck Norris in Chronological Order

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- Chuck Norris Biography
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Last Updated
- May 25, 2017

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