CHUCK NORRIS: HOW I BEAT THE ODDS ON ROAD TO STARDOM

Published on: July 6, 2004

"My life has been a series of miracles -- and I want to share them with everyone," says "Walker, Texas Ranger" star Chuck Norris, who's put the finishing touches on a book about his life.

"Against All Odds: My Story" -- which will be published in September by Broadman & Holman -- tells how Chuck overcame countless obstacles to become a world famous karate champion and movie star.

"When you're a successful person, many people only see the successful side of your life," Norris, 64, told The ENQUIRER in an exclusive interview.

"They don't see the obstacles that you had to overcome to achieve that success," said the actor, who married his second wife Gena in 1998. The happy pair had twins -- a boy and a girl -- in 2001.

NOT AN EASY ROAD

"I want them to see the struggles. I want them to understand that it hasn't been an easy road, but that anyone can achieve success in their lives if they keep their focus on their goals, work hard and never lose your faith in yourself or in God."

Chuck's profits from the new book will be donated to KICKSTART, an organization he founded to use the martial arts to build character in children in the schools.

In his book Chuck tells how Carlos Ray Norris -- Chuck is a nickname -- was born dirt poor in Ryan, Okla. The book describes his father as an alcoholic, and chronicles his mother's struggles with menial jobs to raise her children.

In fact, Chuck's very birth was a miracle -- he was born a "blue baby" and had to be placed on oxygen from birth.

After high school Norris joined the Air Force and was stationed in Korea, where he discovered karate. The grueling five-hour daily practice sessions taught him to stick it out, no matter how hard the task.

KARATE CHAMP

Discharged from the Air Force and with a wife and child to support, Chuck opened a karate school in Torrance, Calif. He entered a karate tournament, hoping to win and pick up more students for his school -- but he lost!

"Instead of giving up, though, I began to struggle, to train harder and to pray a lot," he recalled. "I learned that the only time you lose is when you don't learn from your failures."

Chuck went on to become a six-time world karate champion. Then one day movie star Steve McQueen, who had brought his son Chad to Norris for karate lessons, suggested that Chuck try acting.

"I thought he had to be kidding. I was 34 years old, with absolutely no acting experience. "I started going to acting school. Here I was, starting from Ground Zero! But I was determined -- believe in what you want to do, and nothing can stop you."

Chuck's first movie "Good Guys Wear Black" launched a career spanning 23 motion pictures and a hit television series.

Now he's planning to film a new two-hour "Walker, Texas Ranger" show soon in Dallas.

Said Chuck: "God never told me to retire!" -- JOHN BLOSSER