What do you think of when you hear the name Chuck Norris? Most likely a martial arts champion, an action movie hero, and/or a television star. Perhaps you also recognize him as a spokesman for the Total Gym fitness system, or even as a world-record-setting speedboat racer. In addition, you may be interested to know that Norris is an outspoken Christian, Republican, NRA member, and homeschool dad!
Chuck Norris was born on March 10, 1940 in Ryan, Oklahoma. He was actually named Carlos Ray Norris, Jr. after his Cherokee father. His mother was Irish. When he was 12 years old, Chuck’s parents divorced and he moved to Torrance, California, with his mother and two younger brothers. Chuck was shy and inhibited, rarely exercised, and hardly resembled his future self. However, his favorite actor and role model was John Wayne.
After graduating high school, Chuck joined the United States Air Force and was sent to South Korea. While there, Chuck became fascinated with martial arts and began studying Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, Shinto-Ryu Karate, Judo, and Jiu-Jitsu. He also developed his own form, Chun Kuk Do (“Universal Way”).
In 1962, Norris served as a Military Policeman at March Air Force Base in California. After he was discharged, he went on to open a karate studio and soon became a renowned teacher in the martial arts. His celebrity students included Bob Barker, Priscilla Presley, Donny and Marie Osmond, Steve and Chad McQueen.
In 1968, Norris was dubbed World Professional Middleweight Karate Champion, a title that he would hold for the next seven years. In 1969, he was awarded a triple crown for having the most Karate tournament wins in that year. He was also dubbed “Fighter of the Year” by Black Belt Magazine.
Norris made his feature film debut as Bruce Lee’s nemesis in the 1972 movie Return of the Dragon. In 1974, Norris began take acting classes at MGM Studios to further his career. His voice and drama coach was Jonathan Harris of Lost in Space fame. Harris taught Norris how to speak by putting his fingers in Norris’s mouth, and stretching his mouth wide open. Norris said that Harris was the only man in the world who could get away with that!
As a humanitarian, Norris enjoys giving back to society. He has been actively involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Veterans Administration National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans. With the help of President George Bush, Norris founded the non-profit organization “Kick Drugs Out of America” in 1990. It was later renamed KickStart as a homage to his karate roots. The program teaches at-risk children discipline and self-esteem through martial arts, keeping them off drugs and out of gangs.
Norris’ hit television series Walker, Texas Ranger ran on CBS for eight years from 1993-2001. When he devoted himself to Christianity, the show dropped the Native American mysticism and picked up Christian themes. Walker, Texas Ranger won the 1998 Epiphany award for the best Christian television program.
Chuck Norris is an American hero who actually practices what he preaches. He visited Iraq on several occasions to inspire U.S. troops. He serves as a reserve police officer in Terrell, Texas, and has arrested felons in drug raids. He is a vocal spokesman for his Christian faith and a motivational speaker for many Christian ministries. Norris believes strongly in being a role model for youth. He also affirms the sanctity of life, declaring that abortion is morally repugnant and contrary to God’s will.
Norris was married to Diane Holechek for thirty years, from 1958 to 1988. They have two sons and a daughter who are now grown. In 1998 at age 58, Norris married 30-year-old Gena O’Kelley, a born-again Christian, former model, and deputy sheriff; their twins Dakota and Danilee were born in 2001. Norris is devoted to educational and parental rights. He says, “Our twins are homeschooled. That is the present educational option we have chosen for them and us. It is our right to do so as parents and American citizens.”
As a homeschool dad, Norris showed a special interest in the infamous California homeschool ruling. Read his article at http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=58452 . Norris has a weekly column on WorldNetDaily in which he shares his “musings about faith, family, freedom, country, loyalty – maybe even kickboxing.” He has written some great stuff!
Alex and Brett Harris, 19-year-old twin sons of Oregon homeschool advocate Greg Harris, were the ones who helped put presidential candidate Mike Huckabee in touch with Chuck Norris. Norris appeared alongside Huckabee on the campaign trail, in an attention-getting television ad, and at a fundraiser held at Norris’ East Texas ranch.
His desire to help restore national civility and decency to our country is one of the reasons why Norris wrote Black Belt Patriotism, a book that will be released on September 7 and is available at Amazon.com for pre-order. He also wrote The Justice Riders, a series of Christian western novels. His autobiographical work is titled Against All Odds: My Story.
Norris thinks the editing of American history to remove Christian references is “shocking.” He opposes the theory of evolution, saying “We are not creations of random chance. We are not accidents. There is a God, a Creator, who made you and me. We were made in His image, which separates us from all other creatures.”
Norris and his wife Gena have joined the board of directors of the National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools. Their goal is to help students understand the Bible’s impact on history and literature by bringing the Bible back to America’s public schools as an elective course of study. As a result, a number of school districts nationwide have decided to offer “The Bible in History and Literature” course.
Norris’ tough guy image has become legendary on the internet. Fans have created a list of fictitious Chuck Norris Facts making outlandish claims about his skills and strength. My favorites: Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding. Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door. When Chuck Norris wants an egg, he cracks open a chicken!
Whether it is high kicking street action or cultural battles, Chuck Norris is an upfront guy who speaks his mind and backs it up with his actions. Nevertheless, he is a respectable community leader and man of integrity who advocates using violence only as a last resort. Yes, the pen is even mightier than the roundhouse kick! Anyway, it’s refreshing to hear a famous celebrity admit to being a fallen man, and how his renewed faith in Christ has led to a more fulfilled life.
“I've got a bulletin for you, folks. I am no superman. I realize that now, but I didn't always. As six-time world karate champion and then a movie star, I put too much trust in who I was, what I could do and what I acquired. I forgot how much I needed others and especially God. Whether we are famous or not, we all need God. By the way, without him, I don't have any power. But with Him, the Bible tells me, I really can do all things – and so can you.”
http://www.chucknorris.com - Official Chuck Norris Website.
http://www.bibleinschools.net - National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools.
http://www.kick-start.org – Building Strong Moral Character in Our Youth through Martial Arts.
http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=43&authorId=29&tId=8 – Chuck Norris columns at WorldNetDaily.
http://townhall.com/Columnists/ChuckNorris - Chuck Norris columns at Townhall.com.
www.ChuckNorrisFacts.com - There are some 40,000 Chuck Norris jokes, er, “facts” floating around the internet – many of them collected here. Most are reminiscent of the old “tall-tale” tradition of Paul Bunyan. However, some have ventured into obscenity and blasphemy, so are not appropriate for kids. Caution should be exercised by parents and children in their “research.”
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