Chuck Norris: The Myth & The Man

Walker, Texas Ranger:

If you search Chuck Norris’ name online you’ll get pages and pages of information –from his biography, to his film career and martial arts awards, to what’s become an internet phenomenon: Chuck Norris memes and jokes. [1]

“When the boogeyman goes to sleep at night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.”

“When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he’s not lifting himself up, he’s pushing the earth down.”

“Chuck Norris is the reason Waldo is hiding.”

“Chuck Norris doesn’t read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.”

It’s said that Norris finds these “facts” quite amusing, these among his favorites, and since his persona has become something of an over-the-top character, he embraces it with great humor.


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Photo Credit:

Born Carlos Ray Norris on March 10, 1940, his childhood was one of poverty. When he was young, his parents divorced due to his father’s alcoholism. His mother, Wilma, turned to welfare to support her three boys, and Norris stepped in to help raise his younger brothers, Weiland and Aaron. Norris had a rough time in school. He’s described himself as, “The shy kid who never excelled at anything in school.” In a YouTube video, he talks about how he could never stand in front of the class and give a book report. Just being called on by the teacher to answer a question would cause him to blush. [2]

The family moved to California and shortly after graduating from high school, Norris joined the United States Air Force, where fellow airmen dubbed him “Chuck,” and the name stuck. While stationed at Osan Air Base in South Korea, Chuck developed an interest in the martial arts. He began studying Tang Soo Do, in particular, and he was good at it. After he was transferred by to the States, he continued to work out in the form at March Air Force Base in California. The martial arts were not popular or well-known in the U.S. at the time, so he was a curiosity on the base. He agreed to give a demonstration to soldiers on the base, even prepared a speech. He was about to step in front of a crowd, the center of attention. He had a choice: Retreat, or rely on his dedication and hard work to pull him through. That day his insecurities lifted and the shy schoolboy was replaced by a confident man who would make the martial arts and helping others his life.

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After leaving the military, Chuck opened karate schools, taught classes and began competing. Among his numerous awards and achievements, he is a six-time, undefeated World Professional Middle Weight Karate Champion, and in the 90s he became the first man in the Western Hemisphere to earn an 8th degree Black Belt Grand Master in Tae Kwon Do.

In the early 70s, Chuck met legendary actor and martial arts expert, Bruce Lee. They became friends and started working out together. One day, Bruce asked Chuck to play his opponent in a fight scene at the end of a movie he was starring in, and Chuck Norris the actor was born.

He’s best known for his starring role as Texas Ranger, Cordell Walker, the former Marine and Vietnam veteran, in Walker, Texas Ranger. In the show, he holds high moral values as he fights crime. In the show, Walker teaches Karate to inner city kids instilling in them a foundation based on character, strength, spirituality and self-worth, with the goal of keeping them out of the gangs. Here’s where fiction turns into reality. Chuck is a dedicated philanthropist. His charitable organization, now in its twentieth year, Kickstart Kids, strives to develop self-esteem, confidence and focus in at-risk children by training them in the discipline of martial arts, offering them positive possibilities for their futures, rather than lives involving crime. [3]

Chuck 1
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As an Air Force veteran, and to honor his brother, Weiland, who was killed in action in Vietnam, Chuck supports the U.S. military. He dedicated all of his Missing in Action films to his brother. In 2007, Chuck was made an honorary U.S. Marine in recognition of his many years of support for America’s troops, especially for his work on behalf of wounded soldiers. [4]

Chuck Norris is respected not only for his righteous character in Walker, Texas Ranger, but also for his real life commitment to worthy causes. And he lives his life as an example to others in deep faith and dedication to service. In developing his own martial arts form, Chun Kuk Do, he created a code of ethics for himself, practitioners and others to follow. [5]

I will develop myself to the maximum of my potential in all ways.

I will forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements.

I will continually work at developing love, happiness and loyalty in my family.

I will look for the good in all people and make them feel worthwhile.

If I have nothing good to say about a person, I will say nothing.

I will always be as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.

I will maintain an attitude of open-mindedness.

I will maintain respect for those in authority and demonstrate this respect at all times.

I will always remain loyal to my God, my country, family and my friends.

I will remain highly goal-oriented throughout my life because that positive attitude helps my family, my country and myself.

Fun Fact: Some of Chuck Norris’ celeb Karate students included Priscilla Presley, Steve McQueen, Bob Barker, Donny and Marie Osmond, Michael Landon and Dan Blocker.



1 “Chuck Norris Facts.” |. Web. 23 Jan. 2015. <>.
2 “ChuckNorrisQ&A Pt2.” YouTube. YouTube. Web. 23 Jan. 2015. <>.
3 “KICKSTART KIDS – Be the Difference.” KICKSTART KIDS RSS2. Web. 23 Jan. 2015. <>.
4 “Official Home of Chuck Norris.” Official Home of Chuck Norris. Web. 23 Jan. 2015. <>.
5 “Chun Kuk Do.” Chun Kuk Do. Web. 23 Jan. 2015. <>.
Additional Sources used in compiling this profile
The Chuck Norris Blog