Celebrating his mother’s remarkable 102nd birthday on May 4, Chuck Norris shared a touching tribute to the woman he affectionately calls the “defender” of his life. Turning 83 in March, Chuck expressed disbelief at his mom, Wilma’s age, marveling at her vitality and suggesting she might just make it to another century.
In a heartfelt letter to his mother, Chuck expressed profound gratitude for her influence and unwavering faith. He acknowledged the challenges they faced together, emphasizing their resilience through thick and thin. Chuck reflected on the immense impact of three significant women in his life: his grandmother Scarberry, his mother Wilma, and his wife Gina, with whom he shares twins Dakota and Danilee.
Wilma Norris Knight, born in 1921, played a pivotal role in Chuck’s life, shaping him into the man he is today. Chuck credited her for instilling values, prayers, and steadfast faith. As a single mother during the Great Depression, Wilma faced adversity, raising three boys, including Chuck, the eldest.
Despite enduring hardships, Wilma’s influence was instrumental in molding Chuck and his siblings into fighters. She instilled in them the belief that obstacles could be overcome with determination and self-belief. Chuck reminisced about his teenage years, highlighting how he became the “man of the house” at 14, supporting his mother and younger brothers during challenging times.
Wilma’s life story was shared on The Mike Huckabee Show in May 2012, providing insights into her perspective on her sons. She described Chuck as the “defender”, Aaron as her “sunshine”, and Wieland, the youngest who tragically died in the Vietnam War, as her “hero”.
Chuck’s admiration for his mother extends beyond her role as a parent. He commended her perseverance and faith, noting her resilience through the losses of two husbands, a stepson, two grandchildren, and his younger brother Wieland. Wilma battled cancer multiple times and underwent around 30 surgeries, yet she remained a living testament to strength and endurance.
Chuck’s own journey to fame began after serving in the United States Air Force, where he acquired martial arts skills and earned a black belt in Tang Soo Do. His martial arts success led to encounters with notable figures like Bruce Lee and paved the way for his breakthrough role in The Way of the Dragon (1972).
Chuck’s career soared with lead roles in films like Breaker! Breaker! (1977) and Good Guys Wear Black (1978). His global success as an action star eventually led to the hit TV show Walker, Texas Ranger (1993-2001).
Despite Chuck’s towering achievements, he remains grounded and family-oriented. His devotion to his wife, children, and grandchildren is evident, and he even reunited with a daughter from a past affair, Dina, in 1990. Chuck’s deep connection with his family and his unwavering love and admiration for his mother, Wilma, shine through in every aspect of his life.