Chuck Norris was born in Ryan, Oklahoma. The oldest of three boys, he was born, Carlos Ray Norris Jr., on March 10, 1940. His mother Wilma raised him primarily as a single mother after his father, Ray Norris, left the family following a divorce.
Wilma moved the family to California, where Chuck helped her to raise his younger brothers. He was an average student, with little athletic interest, and was often teased due to his mixed Cherokee & Irish heritage. He later spoke of dreaming about beating up all of those students who bullied him.
Following high school graduation in 1958, Chuck married high school girlfriend, Diane, and enrolled in the United States Air Force. He served as a military policeman in South Korea, where he began studying the martial arts practice of Tang Soo Do and going by the nickname, “Chuck.”
After being discharged from the military in 1962, Chuck’s continued interest in martial arts led him to open several karate schools where he served as a full time instructor. While his business was expanding, his family was too, and he became father to three children, Mike in 1962, Dina in 1964, and Eric, in 1965.
Chuck also continued to compete in karate tournaments and quickly rose through the ranks to the top of his sport. By 1968 he had captured the Professional World Full-Contact Middleweight Karate Champion title, and managed to hold onto it until retiring, undefeated, from the competition in 1974.
At the time of his retirement, Chuck Norris was 34 years old and experiencing great professional success. He was the owner of over 32 karate schools and worked as a private instructor to numerous celebrities including, Priscilla Presley, the Osmonds, and the legendary Steve McQueen. It was McQueen who encouraged Norris to try his hand at acting, reportedly saying, “If you can’t do anything else, there’s always acting.”
Chuck had already had bit parts in two films, The Wrecking Crew (1969), and The Fury of the Dragon in 1972, but decided to pursue the profession more ardently following his conversation with the Hollywood superstar. In 1973, he met martial arts legend Bruce Lee, and went on to star with him in the 1973 film, Return of the Dragon.
By 1977, Chuck Norris was quickly becoming a leading man in the world of action entertainment. His first starring role was in 1977’s, Breaker! Breaker! , and though not a critical success, helped to launch Norris as a bankable Hollywood action star. Subsequent films included, The Octagon, Lone Wolf McQuade, and Missing in Action, though that was only the beginning of a career in which Norris would go on to star in over 23 motion pictures.
Chuck Norris was raised by a Christian mother who encouraged him to develop his faith. He gave himself to the Lord at the age of 12, and was even fortunate enough to attend a crusade with Billy Graham around the same time. Though the foundation of his faith was laid at a young age, Norris strayed from his beliefs as his career began to flourish, even fathering a daughter of an extramarital affair and eventually divorcing his first wife, Diane.
“Unfortunately a lot of times in the entertainment industry, sometimes you lose sight of what’s really important in your life. I lost a marriage because of it,” said Chuck. ‘I was always angry, and I had a huge hole in my heart’.
Nothing made me happy. Then I got married again to a God-fearing woman, and at home she would read the Bible every morning. After a while she said, “do you want me to read aloud to you?” So I sat down, and she started reading the Bible aloud to me, every morning. Eventually I said, “Well, let me read it,” and so I started to read it aloud to her. And then it was like the Lord said to me “Chuck, it’s time to come home. It’s been long enough.” And now my heart is filled up again.’
Chuck recommitted himself to Christ while living with his second wife, Gina, and credits their relationship with resetting them on track spiritually, both as a couple, and in their personal relationships with the Lord. Since that time, the Norris family has grown to welcome their twin daughters, Dakota and Danilee.
His love for children led him, along with wife Gina, to create the Kickstart foundation, with the purpose of “building strong moral character in youth through martial arts training.” Since its creation, Kickstart has been implemented in over 6,500 schools. Chuck says that, through his foundation, he has been able to encourage kids with positive affirmations and biblical principles.
Source – Godtube