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27 November 1940 – 20 July 1973
Born Lee Jun-fan
The son of Cantonese opera star Lee Hoi-Chuen. Bruce was the fourth child of five children.
Lee was born in Chinatown, San Francisco on 27 November 1940 to parents from Hong Kong and was raised in Kowloon with his family until his late teens.
Lee is best known as a martial artist, but he also studied drama and philosophy while a student at the University of Washington.
He initially trained in Wing Chun and Boxing, but later rejected well-defined martial art styles, favouring instead the use of techniques from various sources, in the spirit of his personal martial arts philosophy, which he dubbed Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist).
Bruce's father, Lee Hoi-chuen, was Chinese, and his mother, Grace Ho, was half-Chinese and half-Caucasian. Grace Ho was purportedly half-German Catholic,) and she may have been adoptedBruce's father, Lee Hoi-chuen, was Chinese, and his mother, Grace Ho , was half-Chinese and half-Caucasian. Grace Ho was purportedly half-German Catholic,) and she may have been adopted.
Lee began training in Wing Chun at the age of 13 under the Wing Chun teacher Yip Man in 1954, after losing a fight with rival gang members.
Lee began teaching martial arts in the United States in 1959.
At the invitation of Ed Parker, Lee appeared in the 1964 Long Beach International Karate Championships and performed repetitions of two-finger push-ups (using the thumb and the index finger of one hand) with feet at approximately a shoulder-width apart. In the same Long Beach event he also performed the "One inch punch", the description of which is as follows: Lee stood upright, his right foot forward with knees bent slightly, in front of a standing, stationary partner. Lee's right arm was partly extended and his right fist approximately an inch away from the partner's chest. Without retracting his right arm, Lee then forcibly delivered the punch to his partner while largely maintaining his posture, sending the partner backwards and falling into a chair said to be placed behind the partner to prevent injury, though his partner's momentum soon caused him to fall to the floor.
Lee appeared at the 1967 Long Beach International Karate Championships and performed various demonstrations, including the famous "unstoppable punch" against USKA world Karate champion Vic Moore. Lee told Moore that he was going to throw a straight punch to the face, and all he had to do was to try to block it. Lee took several steps back and asked if Moore was ready, when Moore nodded in affirmation, Lee glided towards him until he was within striking range. He then threw a straight punch directly at Moore's face, and stopped before impact. In eight attempts, Moore failed to block any of the punches.
In late 1972, Lee began work on his fourth Golden Harvest Film, Game of Death. He began filming some scenes including his fight sequence with 7′2″ American Basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a former student. Production was stopped when Warner Brothers offered Lee the opportunity to star in Enter the Dragon, six days before its 26 July 1973 release, Lee died.
Enter the Dragon would go on to become one of the year's highest grossing films and cement Lee as a martial arts legend.
When the doctors announced Lee's death officially, it was ruled a "death by misadventure". On 15 October 2005, Chow stated in an interview that Lee died from an allergic reaction to the muscle relaxant (meprobamate) in Equagesic, which he described as a common ingredient in painkillers.Donald Teare, a forensic scientist recommended by Scotland Yard who had overseen over 1,000 autopsies, was assigned to the Lee case. His conclusion was "death by misadventure" caused by an acute cerebral edema due to a reaction to compounds present in the combination medication Equagesic.
Bruce Lee was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
In April 2013, he was posthumously awarded the prestigious Founders Award at The Asian Awards.
A Bruce Lee statue was unveiled in Los Angeles' Chinatown on 15 June 2013. It stands at 7-foot tall and was made in Guangzhou, China.
Lee opened his first martial arts school, named the Lee Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute, in Seattle.
Enter the Dragon
The Way of the Dragon
The Chinese Connection
The Big Boss
The Green Hornet