False facts about Chuck Norris you always thought were true

Chuck Norris is one of those celebrities whose life in the spotlight isn't all that far removed from the life he really lives. That makes it super-hard to separate Chuck Norris the man, from Chuck Norris the myth. Ready to change that right now? We are.

He's not actually a Texas Ranger

Oh, but he is a Texas Ranger. True, Norris has probably never helped take down a drug kingpin, held suppressing fire in an epic real-life shootout, or so much as approached hitting an RBI, but he is an honorary Texas Ranger. Political pal, and former Texas Governor, Rick Perry saw to that back in 2010, naming Norris a Ranger captain. While he was at it, Perry also named Norris' younger brother, Aaron Norris, an honorary Ranger.

Why all the love? Well, everybody gets the connection between Chuck Norris and Walker—the Texas Ranger character he played for eight years on CBS. But fewer people know that Aaron Norris was a co-executive director for the same program. In fact, he's had a long career as a stuntman, working in the same genre as his brother. If you've seen The Octagon, A Force of One, or Lone Wolf McQuade, you've seen Aaron Norris in action. If you haven't seen them … go do so. Get cultured.

He's married to Christie Brinkley

Despite Google autofill evidence to the contrary, he isn't. In fact, he never was! There's no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Norris ever has been romantically linked with his Total Gym-hawking infomercial partner. The only real connection between Norris and Brinkley appears to be that they shared their peak fame during the same entertainment era—and that their genes both share an enviable contempt for aging.

That leaves us with the obvious question: who does get to call themselves Chuck Norris' real-life Sidekick? That would be Gena Norris, his wife of 16 years. It's a May-September kind of relationship: Chuck was born in 1940 and, while it's hard to pin down his wife's exact age, the gossip machine pegs her as being 23 years his junior. They have two children together—twins Dakota and Danilee—along with Chuck's two sons from his previous marriage to Dianne Holechek.

That's four kids, but wait, there's (one) more! In his biography, Against All Odds: My Story, Chuck Norris revealed he fathered a child during an affair while married to his first wife. He fully admitted to cheating on his wife, and embraced the child — his daughter Dina — from the moment they first met. Thankfully, without any spinkicks.

He's only a badass on TV

Norris earned his martial arts bona fides on the competitive circuit before he became a pretend badass in movies and TV shows. For a time, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he held the Professional World Full-Contact Middleweight Karate Championship—for six consecutive years.

Before he started winning, though, Chuck Norris lost … a lot. His fighting career got off to a rocky start, with ten total losses between 1964 and 1968. But once he hit his competitive stride, he was pretty much unstoppable. Norris went on an absolute tear in 1968, scoring the first of his six straight world titles. Even in his retirement from competitive fighting, he's never stopped honing his skills. Norris achieved an 8th degree Black Belt Grand Master designation in Taekwondo in 1997, and he continues to study martial arts of every style.

Oh, and those those ten losses? They remain the only blotches on his record to this day.

He's just a celebrity endorser for conservative causes

While Norris has certainly lent his star power to boost the campaign of more than one notable Republican, he's not above seeking the highest office in the land for himself—provided, that is, that the land in question is Texas. Namely, the independent nation of Texas.

Yessir, if the Lone Star State ever secedes and rebrands itself the Lone Star Nation, Norris has volunteered to lead it. In a half-joking opinion column he penned in 2009, Norris commiserated with conservative media mogul Glenn Beck that "America seems to be moving further and further from its Founders' vision and government," and that Texas is the likeliest spawning ground for a full-scale secessionist revolt. Because we all know how well that worked the last time.

There's a more serious side to Norris' activism, though. In 1990, he founded his own nonprofit outreach, called the Kickstart Kids Foundation, to help young people stay away from drugs and develop self esteem. He's also been a longtime supporter of a broad array of causes, from charities like the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the United Way, to political lobbies like the National Rifle Association.

Norris also has a heart for veterans' causes. A vet himself, he dedicated many of his early films to the memory of his late younger brother, Wieland Norris, who was killed in 1970 in Vietnam. Norris continues to promote military outreach through his involvement in programs like the National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans and the Wounded Warrior Project. The great country of Texas will have itself a great, great man for a leader.

He's a natural-born Texan

When people think of Chuck Norris, they think of Texas, which tends to happen when you're known for a character who rocked a cowboy hat, duster, and ostentatiously shiny belt buckle as a small-screen Texas Ranger for eight years. Add to that Conan O'Brien's bygone gag of pulling a giant "Walker, Texas Ranger" lever to get himself out of a tanking joke, and you've got a wide demographic of folks who have no reason to think Chuck Norris is anything but a Lone Star native.

But Norris hasn't always been a Texan. While we're gearing up to set the record straight, here's some more real talk: his given name isn't even Chuck. The man the world knows as Chuck Norris was actually born Carlos Ray Norris on March 10, 1940—in Ryan, Oklahoma.

Norris himself has done nothing to disabuse anyone of the "he's a Texan" perception, though. Over the years, he's made Texas both his spiritual and actual home. Facebook fans know he lives on a ranch in Navasota (it's north of Houston), and his values squarely align with the state's current right-leaning center of power. He even writes opinion pieces that occasionally offer observations from a conservative Texan's point of view. And you know, a guy you don't wanna mess with embracing a certain state you don't wanna mess with makes good, good sense.

He's a natural-born athlete

The man who became bone-crunching fighting swam actually started life as an ugly duckling, at least when it comes to athletic talent and fighting skill. By his own admission, teenage Chuck Norris was average in every way.

Norris told the New York Times that his young life was somewhere between rocky and unremarkable—that he grew up "shy, unathletic and only a C student." He was on the football team in high school, but as a second-string player. He just wasn't aggressive enough to be a starter.

Life didn't seem to offer Chuck Norris many early advantages. He came from a mixed family — his heavy-drinking father was a Cherokee Indian, and his mother Irish—in a time and place that was less than accepting. Some of his schoolmates pejoratively referred to the young Norris as a "half-breed."

The teasing got to him. "I had very low self-esteem," he confessed. He began to fantasize about someday being strong enough, in his words, "to handle myself" and stand up to bullies. After high school, when Norris joined the military and ended up in Korea, he got his chance. He began studying Tang Soo Do and Taekwondo there, finally discovering his innate aptitude for the fighting arts. We'd say he's more than figured out the whole "handling himself" thing by now.

He's all brawn and no brain

Yeah, he's tough — that's what's made him famous. But Chuck Norris also has an active, and we mean active, mind. One way he flexes his mental muscle is through writing, and Norris has written a prodigious amount of material.

Sure, every celeb has one or more ghost-written books in their diversified moneymaking portfolio, but we're not talking about that. We're talking about his regular opinion column for Christian-conservative website WorldNetDaily (WND). He's been a contributor there since 2006 — and he's not phoning it in. Norris keeps a writing schedule that sees a new column published two to three times each week. His archives go back a loooong way.

What kind of stuff does Chuck Norris like to write about? Christian living, respecting the military, the Second Amendment, and America's place in the world, mostly. His passion for health and fitness bleeds through on occasion, too, just as a reminder that if you have a problem with what he says, he's still fully capable of feeding you your own teeth.

His real fighting days are behind him

Chuck Norris is a fighter who became an actor, not the other way around. His early immersion in the martial arts, which he took up while stationed with the Air Force in Korea, imbued him with a holistic fighter's philosophy that encompasses all aspects of life—not just the ass-kicking part.

In the early '90s, with his competitive days behind him, Norris distilled everything he'd learned into a new fighting style of his own: Chun Kuk Do, a sort of open-source style that cherry-picks techniques from other martial arts. In 2015, he transformed Chun Kuk Do into the eponymous Chuck Norris System, and he continues to evolve it as his very own codified school of thinking, training and, yes, fighting. It's pretty much a combat-bred summary of the way he wants to live his life.

His acting career is totally played out

Infomercials, far-right opinion columns, and musings on becoming president of Texas—these aren't the typical hallmarks of a dude who can still marquis a studio project in Hollywood. Good thing that's not a factor for independent filmmaker Sebati Edward Mafate.

Mafate persuaded Norris to sign on for his Blood Brothers script, an anti-poaching yarn that's slated to begin filming on location in Mafate's native Botswana sometime in 2017. Isaac Florentine, notable for directing Michael Jai White's Undisputed II, is attached as director. With some of the needed funding reportedly coming from the Botswanan government, the film's future sounds far from certain. But who wouldn't want to see a 76 year-old Chuck Norris go all Delta Force on some soulless poachers? He's already agreed to the project, so he's definitely game to dispense some more silver screen justice.

He's been cool with all the "Chuck Norris jokes" from the start

You knew this one was coming. To be fair, Norris appears to have made his peace with the "Chuck Norris Facts" phenomenon, even sanctioning his own official "facts" book in 2009. But two years earlier, in 2007, Norris filed a lawsuit against Brown University student Ian Spector, who'd tapped into the burgeoning meme craze by publishing The Truth About Chuck Norris: 400 Facts About the World's Greatest Human. Norris dropped the suit just ahead of his official book's release, presumably because complaining about people claiming you're so badass you slapped the doctor when you were born isn't that great a look.

Since then, he's shown he can be a good sport about all the jokes. His official blog occasionally links to listicles of Chuck Norris Facts, and he's even confessed to laughing at some of them. "I love to laugh, as do most people," he stoically observed in a WND column on the topic, calling laughter "probably…the best medicine for our bodies, minds and souls."

Funny guy. And a lethal one, so don't forget to laugh at literally everything he says.