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  • We've all heard the memes before.

  • Chuck Norris ordered a Big Mac at Burger King and got one.

  • Everybody Loves Raymond, except Chuck Norris.

  • And Chuck Norris counted to infinity-- twice.

  • There are literally thousands of these true facts floating

  • around the internet.

  • Sure, the meme breathed new life into Norris's career.

  • But even without all of his new found internet fame and glory,

  • Chuck Norris was already a certified badass.

  • Today, we're going to explore the most interesting and true

  • badass facts about Chuck Norris.

  • But before we get started, subscribe

  • to our channel, Weird History.

  • Leave a comment, and let us know what you think about this video

  • and which historical badass you'd like us to cover next.

  • Before we dig into Chuck Norris's life,

  • let's get into how the Chuck Norris fact meme began.

  • It all started as a joke in 2005 by a web developer

  • named Ian Spector.

  • And the joke wasn't originally on Norris.

  • It was on Vin Diesel.

  • After a few months, the meme evolved

  • from teasing the ludicrousness of Vin Diese's action roles

  • into a tribute of the awesomeness of Chuck Norris.

  • Thanks to the absurd realism of his action crime series Walker,

  • Texas Ranger, the hilariousness of Spector's Chuck Norris facts

  • were an instant internet sensation.

  • Within half a year, Spector's Chuck Norris facts website

  • was getting 20 million page views a month.

  • Norris's career was in a holding pattern at the time.

  • But the popularity of the meme breathed new life

  • into his career.

  • It even gave him enough clout for CBS

  • to bring back Walker, Texas Ranger for a special television

  • movie in 2005, after it was canceled four years earlier.

  • The thing is, even with all of the sudden fame

  • the meme brought him, Norris sued Spector.

  • In short, Norris wasn't comfortable with the idea

  • of people possibly taking the joke seriously.

  • Norris's lawsuit alleged that some of the facts were racist,

  • lewd, and portrayed him engaged in illegal activities.

  • Here's what Norris said about his overnight internet

  • celebrity.

  • "People everywhere have asked me,

  • what do you think of all these Chuck Norris facts?

  • My answer is always the same.

  • Some are funny, some are pretty far out,

  • and most are just promoting harmless fun and times

  • of laughter.

  • But be careful if you go searching for Chuck Norris

  • facts on the internet, because some

  • are flat-out not appropriate for kids."

  • Norris eventually dropped the lawsuit.

  • Specter went on to write five Chuck Norris fact

  • books based on the meme that started it all.

  • Norris also put out his own book of his own meme titled,

  • The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book--

  • 101 of Chuck's Favorite Facts and Stories.

  • Ian Spector's one of the few men that Chuck Norris

  • wasn't able to take down.

  • Chuck Norris is not without mercy.

  • Chuck Norris was born Carlos Ray Norris in southern Oklahoma

  • on March 10th, 1940.

  • Truth be told, he wasn't the extraordinary kid

  • you'd think Chuck Norris would be.

  • In fact, Norris was a bit subpar all throughout his adolescence.

  • Carlos was not athletic, painfully shy,

  • and when it came to his studies, he barely slid by.

  • The fact that his frequently unemployed father was

  • a belligerent alcoholic and his family was always

  • financially scraping by didn't help his depression

  • or debilitating introversion.

  • All that set Norris up for a childhood

  • filled with insecurity and low self-esteem.

  • But all that changed for Carlos in 1958.

  • After the 18-year-old graduated high school,

  • he immediately signed up for the United States Air Force

  • as an air policeman.

  • His goal was to get some police training

  • under his belt in preparation for a career in law

  • enforcement.

  • The sudden shift in responsibility

  • gave him the confidence he lacked as a kid

  • and it pointed him in the direction of the one thing

  • that would change the rest of his life.

  • Air Chuck, Chuck, Chuck Norris has confidence.

  • While on patrol at Osan Air Base in South Korea,

  • Norris realized that he wasn't able to apprehend rowdy drunks

  • that he encountered while on duty unless he used a weapon.

  • These drunken arrests got him thinking

  • that learning a martial art could be a useful tool

  • while on the job.

  • So he started studying basic Judo on the base.

  • After two weeks of studying Judo,

  • Norris broke his shoulder in a fall on the mat.

  • While recovering from the injury,

  • he discovered a bunch of locals practicing a much more

  • acrobatic form of martial arts.

  • Once he healed, he took up what he found out

  • was the art of Tang Soo Do, a karate-based Korean martial art

  • from the 1930s that focuses on hand strikes, kicks,

  • wrist grabs, and blocks.

  • After close to 15 months of studying five hours a day,

  • seven days a week, Norris earned his first black belt

  • in Tang Soo Do.

  • Not long after he earned that belt,

  • Norris was discharged from his post in South Korea.

  • And he returned to the United States,

  • where he continued to serve as an air policeman

  • at March Air Force Base in California.

  • While he was serving there, he continued to train on his own,

  • as there were no Tang Soo Do schools anywhere at the time.

  • When his fellow soldiers on the base

  • showed an interest in his solo training,

  • the 21-year-old Norris began a karate club on the base.

  • Little did he know this club would set him

  • on a course for fame, fortune, and a major career change.

  • When Chuck Norris was discharged in August 1962,

  • he went to work for Northrop aviation as a file clerk.

  • But that was just a gig to pay the bills.

  • His real passion was teaching karate at night.

  • After six years of working at Northrop during the day,

  • moonlighting as a martial artist at night,

  • and kicking ass in state, national,

  • and international amateur karate tournaments,

  • Norris opened up a chain of martial arts schools.

  • Now what you have to remember is that in 1968,

  • when Norris opened up his studios,

  • America was just getting its first real taste

  • of martial arts with the popularity of Bruce

  • Lee and the Green Hornet.

  • And they were only a year or so away

  • from David Carradine and Kung Fu,

  • and Elvis and his karate-chopping stage show.

  • Karate was practically a novelty.

  • Naturally, all this American interest in martial arts

  • made Norris something of a karate guru.

  • With his good looks, multiple black belts,

  • and numerous tournament wins, he eventually

  • became the go-to karate teacher to the stars.

  • Some of his bigger celebrity clients

  • include Steve McQueen, Chad McQueen, Bob Barker--

  • yeah, The Price is Right guy--

  • Donny and Marie Osmond, and Priscilla Presley--

  • at the behest of the King himself.

  • Of course, it was Steve McQueen who

  • would change the trajectory of Norris's life forever.

  • Chuck Norris trajectory.

  • If you ask Chuck Norris what he planned

  • on doing with the rest of his life in 1969,

  • he'd probably say something about opening up a couple dozen

  • more karate studios, kick ass without mercy

  • in the rest of his future tournaments,

  • and retire from the sport a legend.

  • Norris probably would have been pretty satisfied

  • with that outcome.

  • But thanks to his friend and student, Steve McQueen,

  • he became a leading action movie star.

  • It all happened during a training session

  • when McQueen told Norris that he saw potential in him

  • and suggested that he should consider

  • a serious career in movies.

  • Norris had already been in four low-budget movies

  • when McQueen suggested the career change.

  • And they were small roles with little or no dialogue.

  • McQueen suggested Norris take acting classes and focus

  • on becoming a leading man.

  • A few years later, Norris starred

  • in the lead role of John David JD Dawes in Breaker!

  • Breaker!-- maybe the only movie to ever mash trucker culture,

  • karate, and country music with great success.

  • The movie cost $250,000 to make, and it earned $12 million,

  • which ensured Norris's box office bankability and put him

  • in the same conversation as Arnold Schwarzenegger

  • and Sylvester Stallone.

  • While juggling a burgeoning acting career,