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Bruce Lee Biography / Autobiography / Memoir resources

Full Name: Mr. Bruce Lee, born Lee Jun Fan
Date of Birth: November 27, 1940
Place of Birth: San Francisco, California, USA
Died: July 20, 1973
Place of Death: Hong Kong, China
Classification: Heroes & Icons

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Short Biography of Bruce Lee

Born in the year of the Dragon on the hour of the Dragon destined Bruce Lee’s name “Little Dragon” when he first appeared in early Cantonese films of the 1950s. As a youngster, Bruce Lee was given the second name of “Small Phoenix” or Sai Fung, a feminine name given to him by his father to protect him against evil spirits.

As a teenager and under his father’s guidance, Bruce attended the prestigious high schools in Hong Kong known as La Salle College and St. Francis Xavier’s College in the latter 1950s. Here, with great academic discipline, Lee learned much that sparked his interest in the studies of philosophy. After only a few years, Lee was sent to the United States to finish his high school studies. Following, he attended the University of Washington to continue his philosophical studies, but without finishing, went on to his birthplace of San Francisco and Hollywood to pursue his acting career.

Bruce Lee went on to star in a few hit TV shows of the mid-1960s. In a show called The Green Hornet, Lee played Kato and used the proceeds to open up his own martial arts school. Called the Jeet Kune Do School, Bruce began teaching his newfound martial arts discipline and hoped to find some worthwhile protégés who could pass on his ideas and philosophies to others. What made his style different and highly unpopular with traditional martial artists was Lee’s partial abandoning of traditional, slow-moving martial arts. His new form consisted of superb bodily conditioning, quick-action attack, and mixed martial arts.

As Lee worked on his own fighting philosophies and techniques, he starred and acted in movies such as Fist of Fury and The Way of the Dragon. Within months, Lee had become an international icon for martial artists everywhere; teenagers and adults wanted to learn more about Lee’s secret Chinese-inspired martial arts.

Even though Bruce Lee died at the age of 32 by cerebral edema due to a reaction to Equagesic, a prescription headache medication given to him while he was in Hong Kong, he lives on in the hearts of the millions of martial artists he inspired. With his other films – arguably the world’s most admired martial arts film – Enter  the Dragon, Lee alone caused an immediate surge in the interest of martial arts in the USA, especially in the west, and around the world. While no autobiography was ever authored by him, he did write Bruce Lee’s Fighting Methods, The Philosophical Art of Self Defense, and The Tao of Jeet Kune Do.

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