You have seen the website, the t-shirts and yes, the books that showcase the satirical Chuck Norris “facts” that many years ago became an Internet sensation. Some of them are downright hilarious, such as: “Chuck Norris doesn’t sleep; he waits.” “Chuck Norris’ beard can grow a mustache.” “Chuck Norris can swim underground.” The actor, producer and martial arts specialist who has been entertaining audiences for decades actually has a “fact” that he has, in the past, called his favorite. There was also a time when he was rather unhappy about somebody attempting to cash-in on the meme. More on both of those later in this piece.
The actual Chuck Norris was not gifted with superhuman powers – allegedly – but the man has nevertheless lived a fascinating life. You have likely seen Norris perform in shows such as Walker, Texas Ranger. Odds are that you are aware that he has endorsed different varieties of the fitness product the Total Gym. Unless you are a diehard fan of the man and have read up on him over the years, there will be at least some information in this piece that you have never before learned. For example, you may not have been aware that Chuck Norris is not actually “Chuck Norris.”
10. What’s in a name?
The name “Chuck Norris” is one that is suitable for a fighter or for a hard individual who is capable of taking care of his own when those situations arise. Norris was not, however, given that name at birth. The actor who became known for those infamous “facts” was born Carlos Ray Norris. Carlos Norris is, on its own, a tremendous name for a guy who is ready to throw down when challenged, and it is one that rolls off the tongue nicely. Perhaps, at another time, Norris would have kept his birth name, but he instead chose to go with Chuck. That decision worked out alright for him.
9. He was in the military
Somewhere, either on the original website or on social media, there is a fake fact out there regarding Chuck Norris winning a war all by himself. He never actually achieved that accomplishment, but Norris was a member of the military long before he was beating opponents up in real fights and also in on-screen staged battles. Norris linked up with the Air Force after he completed high school, and he has since been honored as a “Veteran of the Year.” He has served as a spokesman for the US Veterans Administration, hoping to bring awareness to matters such as health care for injured military veterans.
8. He created a form of martial arts
This one seems like it would be one of those fake facts that have floated around the Internet for the past decade; except that it isn’t at all. Norris has been credited with creating Chun Kuk Do, a hybrid style of martial arts that takes from multiple fighting styles. As with other forms of martial arts, Chun Kuk Do is based upon a code that includes the following: “I will develop myself to the maximum of my potential in all ways.” “I will continually work at developing love, happiness and loyalty in my family.” “I will remain highly goal-oriented throughout my life because that positive attitude helps my family, my country and myself.”
7. He has had famous students
Norris has worn many career hats during his life. He is most known to the general public for the acting gigs that he has had, and Norris also has a legitimate martial arts record. It is probably not much of a surprise that somebody with his background has opened martial arts schools and has served as a teacher. Some of Norris’ past students are probably familiar to you. These names include The Osmonds (Yes, THOSE Osmonds), Bob Barker, Steve McQueen and Priscilla Presley among others. Each of those celebrities could have learned from worse teachers than a man who has been so highly decorated during his martial arts career.
6. He has made history for martial arts
That Norris is an accomplished martial arts specialist is hardly a surprise to anybody who has followed his career over the decades. He made history in 1990 when he became the first man from the Western Hemisphere to ever be awarded with the 8th degree Black Belt Grand Master title in Tae Kwon Do. Norris discussed this honor during an interview with WND.com back in 2007: “This was a first in 4,500 years of tradition – something that still humbles me to the core of my being.” That is but one of several martial arts awards that he has earned.
5. He endorses…what?
Due to the fame that he has acquired through his acting gigs, Norris has been utilized to endorse several products. Commercials that featured Norris and model and actress Christie Brinkley were late-night television mainstays back in the day. Some may also remember that Norris served as a spokesperson for the World of Warcraft video game series. Depending on where you live or how big a fan you are of the man, you may have missed that Norris was featured in multiple commercials for Polish bank BZ WBK. That is one loan you are going to want to pay back as quickly as possible.
4. Norris is an Honorary Marine
Along with being a member of the Air Force, Norris was presented with an honor from a different branch of the military in 2007 when Commandant Gen. James Conway named the martial arts specialist and actor an “Honorary Marine.” Along with being a favorite of troops thanks to the website filled with the satirical facts, Norris has, as previously mentioned in this piece, supported the military as a celebrity spokesperson. Col. Frank McKenzie said the following about Norris when the actor was honored: “The thing that is so engaging about Chuck Norris is that he’s so straightforward. There’s no artifice about him. He represents a lot of values Marines value.”
3. Norris is not a huge fan of President Obama
Norris has, throughout much of his public life, not been shy about speaking of his strong Christian beliefs, and the actor is a known Republican who has backed multiple candidates. Norris urged his fans to vote in the 2012 United States Presidential Election, even going so far to warn: “Our great country and freedom are under attack. We are at a tipping point and quite possibly our country as we know it could be lost forever if we don’t change the course our country is headed.” Those words meant little to the election, however, as President Obama won a second term in November.
2. Norris sued over the “Facts”
Those fake Chuck Norris facts were all fun and games until a university student attempted to make some money off of them. Norris filed suit against Ian Spector and book publisher Penguin Group Inc. in 2007 after Spector produced a book that Norris either found no humor in or from which he wanted to see some profits. Whatever his reasoning at the time for filing the lawsuit, Norris eventually had second thoughts and dropped the whole thing. That is probably for the best, because “Chuck Norris once sued a student” does not make for a great Internet meme.
1. Norris has his favorite “fact”
While appearing on now off-the-air FOX Sports program The Best Damn Sports Show Period, Norris read out a list of the satirical facts in front of a studio audience. Among Norris’ favorites was: “When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.” Norris later explained at the end of the segment that his favorite fact is: “They wanted to put Chuck Norris’s face on Mount Rushmore, but the granite wasn’t hard enough for his beard.” Norris may have stumbled over the sentence when saying it. Not shockingly, nobody thought about correcting him. Smart.