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Carlos Ray "Chuck" Norris (born March 10, 1940) is an American martial artist and actor. After serving in the United States Air Force, he began his rise to fame as a martial artist and has since founded his own school, Chun Kuk Do. As a result of his "tough guy" image, an Internet phenomenon began in 2005 known as Chuck Norris facts, ascribing various implausible or even impossible feats to Norris.
Norris appeared in a number of action films, such as Way of the Dragon in which he starred alongside Bruce Lee and was The Cannon Group's leading star in the 1980s. He next played the starring role in the television series Walker, Texas Ranger from 1993 to 2001.
Norris is a devout Christian and politically conservative. He has written several books on Christianity and donated to a number of Republican candidates and causes. In 2007 and 2008, he campaigned for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who was running for the Republican nomination for President in 2008. Norris also writes a column for the conservative website WorldNetDaily.
Norris was born in Ryan, Oklahoma. He is the son of Wilma (née Scarberry) and Ray Norris, who was a mechanic, bus driver, and truck driver. Norris has said that he has Irish and Cherokee Native American ancestry. Norris was named after Carlos Berry, his father's minister.He has two younger brothers, Wieland (deceased) and Aaron (a Hollywood producer). When Norris was sixteen, his parents divorced, and he later relocated to Prairie Village, Kansas, and then to Torrance, California, with his mother and brothers.
Norris has described his childhood as downbeat. He was nonathletic, shy, and scholastically mediocre. Other children taunted him about his mixed ethnicity, and Norris daydreamed about beating up his tormentors. Norris mentioned in his autobiography that his father had a very serious problem with drinking and "wasn't there" a lot for him growing up. Norris admitted that he loved his father but did not like him. However, he professed that he only felt pity for the man because "that was just how he was, and he missed so much."
He joined the United States Air Force as an Air Policeman (AP) in 1958 and was sent to Osan Air Base, South Korea. It was there that Norris acquired the nickname Chuck and began his training in Tang Soo Do (tangsudo), an interest that led to black belts in that art and the founding of the Chun Kuk Do ("Universal Way") form. He created the education associations United Fighting Arts Federation and "KickStart" (formerly "Kick Drugs Out of America"), a middle school and high school–based program intended to give at-risk children a focus point in life through the martial arts. When he returned to the United States, he continued to act as an AP at March Air Force Base, California. Norris was discharged in August 1962. He worked for the Northrop Corporation and opened a chain of karate schools including a storefront school in his then-hometown of Torrance on Hawthorne Boulevard. Norris' official website lists celebrity clients at the schools; among them Steve McQueen, Chad McQueen, Bob Barker, Priscilla Presley, Donny Osmond and Marie Osmond.