Bruce Lee was born on November 27, 1940, in San Francisco, California. His birth name is Lee Jun-fan.  Lee was a martial arts instructor, actor, and a philosopher. He is also the founder of the martial art JeetKune Do (JKD). He was the son of Cantonese Opera star Lee Hoi-Chuen.

Bruce Lee

Early Career:

Lee was a child artist in Hong-Kong. At the age of 12, Bruce Lee was beaten up by some street kids, which motivated him to learn martial arts. He took training under the guidance of “Sifu Yip Man”, who taught Wing Chun Kung Fu to Bruce Lee for a period of 5 years. Wing Chun Kung Fu was the only formalized form of martial art training undertaken by Bruce Lee.

He later returned to the U.S. in 1959 and worked in a relative’s restaurant in Chinatown. He eventually moved to Seattle, Washington, where he joined in a university to study philosophy and found time to practice his Kung Fu techniques. In 1963, Lee opened his Kung Fu school and met his wife Linda Lee Cadwell. He moved to California, where he opened two more Kung Fu schools in Los Angeles and Oakland.

JeetKune Do (JKD):

  • Bruce Lee created a hybrid of Martial arts influenced by his personal experiences and philosophy. He found the system on July 9, 1969. He also referred to it as a “nonclassical” form of Chinese Kung Fu.
  • JeetKune Do experts believe in minimal movement with maximized efforts. The Bruce Lee Foundation named the form of Kung Fu as Jun Fan JeetKune Do. Jun Fan refers to the birth name of Bruce Lee.

Career in Cinema:

  • Lee acquired the status of a celebrity with his appearance in the television series The Green Hornet, which was aired from 1966 to 67. Lee continued to make guest appearances in some TV shows like Ironside and Longstreet. Lee acted in a notable role in 1969’s Marlowe created by Raymond Chandler.
  • Lee signed a two-movie contract, eventually bringing his family to Hong-Kong. The Fists of Fury was released in the U.S in 1971. The movie features Lee as a factory worker who wants to challenge a ferocious drug smuggling gang.
  • By the end of 1972, Bruce Lee was a leading movie star in Asia. His first direct major Hollywood film was Enter the Dragon.


On July 20, 1973, before a month of the world premiere of entering the Dragon, Bruce Lee died in Hong-Kong, at the age of 32. The autopsy report stated the cause of the death is a strange reaction to a prescribed pain killer Lee has been taking for a back injury. It was rumored that Bruce Lee was murdered.