Norris is familiar to fans worldwide as the star of action films such as The Hitman (1991), The Delta Force (1986) and Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990). He also starred in Missing in Action (1984) and its sequels, Firewalker (1986) and Sidekicks (1992). Norris was born Carlos Ray in Ryan, the eldest of three children, he helped his mother raise his two younger brothers in Torrance, CA, where his family moved when he was 12. Norris joined the Air Force after graduating from high school. During a stint in Korea, he began to study the Asian martial art of Tang Soo Do. After returning home, he worked for Northrop Aviation and moonlighted as a karate instructor. Two years later he was teaching full-time and running a number of martial-arts schools. His students included Steve McQueen, Priscilla Presley and the Osmonds. In 1968, he became the Professional World Middleweight Karate Champion, holding the title undefeated until he retired in 1974. He is a black belt in Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwan Do, both Korean fighting arts, and knows all forms of the martial arts. In 1969, he earned the Triple Crown for the highest number of tournament wins, and was named Fighter of the Year by “Black Belt” magazine. By the time he was 34; Norris had established 32 karate schools and had been a champion for six years. In 1996, he became the first Westerner to be awarded an eighth-degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do.
Norris, who was urged to get into acting by his friend Steve McQueen, skillfully incorporates his martial-arts knowledge into his series and feature film projects, stressing action and technique over violence. He is the author of the books “The Secret of Inner Strength” and “The Secret Power Within – Zen Solutions to Real Problems”. He works for many charities, including the Funds for Kids, Veterans Administration National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans, the United Way, Make-a-Wish Foundation and KickStart, a nonprofit organization he created to help battle drugs and violence in schools. He also starred in the television movie Bound by Honor (1993), broadcast on CBS. He lives on a ranch when not filming.
Chuck Norris’s fight career lasted from 1964-1974. Norris started off by losing his first three tournaments but, by 1966, he was almost unbeatable. Among the numerous titles he won were The National Karate Championships (1966), All-Star Championships (1966), World Middleweight Karate Championship (1967), All-American Karate Championship (1967), Internationals (1968), World Professional Middleweight Karate Championship (defeating Louis Delgado on 24 November 1968), All-American Championship (1968), National Tournament of Champions (1968), American Tang Soo Championship, and the North American Karate Championship. Norris compiled a fight record of 65-5 with wins over champions Joe Lewis, Skipper Mullins, Arnold Urquidez, Ronald L. Marchini, Victor Moore, Louis Delgado, and Steve Sanders. Of the five men to beat Norris, three were Allen Steen, Joe Lewis, and Norris’s last career defeat to Louis Delgado in 1968. Norris retired as undefeated Professional Full-Contact Middleweight Champion in 1974.