Chuck Norris, the longtime martial-arts champion, actor, philanthropist and WND columnist, has made the list of Top Ten personalities mentioned on Twitter for 2009, and he’s pleased.
“I’m honored to make any Top 10 list, especially one with the popularity of Twitter,” he told WND. “And to be among talent like the voice of Susan Boyle, the sportsmanship of Kobe Bryant, the dance steps of Michael Jackson or the golf domination of Tiger Woods, I’m genuinely appreciative.”
Norris, whose book, “The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book: 101 of Chuck’s Favorite Facts and Stories,” was used this holiday season in a special promotion for members of the U.S. military, actually beat out Woods and others.
The most-Twittered individual was Michael Jackson, followed by singing phenom Susan Boyle, Adam Lambert, Bryant and Chris Brown. Chuck Norris was next, followed by Joe Wilson, the congressman who famously shouted “You lie” to President Obama; Woods; Christian Bale; and Alex Rodriguez.
Joseph Farah, founder and CEO of WorldNetDaily, whose website launched the celebrity’s career as a columnist, said, “What I most like about this fact is that Chuck Norris represents the very best of values, yet his popularity is still sky-high. It suggests you don’t have to be embroiled in scandal to be the talk of the town, the nation and the world.”
According to reporter Kyle Anderson at MTV, the list was dominated by figures in the music world, but joined by “superstars Tiger Woods, Chuck Norris and Christian Bale.” The most-Twittered news-related topic was the election in Iran. Harry Potter was the hit among movies.
American Idol was the top show mentioned on Twitter. The Super Bowl headed sports, and Google Wave topped technology issues.
On WND, the Chuck Norris collection of columns includes those addressing health care, Copenhagen, Christmas, guns, freedoms and the U.S. military.
Organization founder Andi Grant told WND that while her organization sends treats and gifts year-round, it is during the upcoming Christmas period when soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen sometimes feel the lowest.
“They’re not seeing Christmas trees. Sometimes they can’t even get tinsel or candy canes,” she said.
The solution this year to making sure troops know they are remembered, honored and supported brought in Chuck Norris and Tyndale House Publishing, through which the WND Superstore offered to arrange to send military members copies of “The Official Chuck Norris Fact Book” by Chuck Norris himself.
Besides his “Walker, Texas Ranger” and other acting stints and legendary prowess as a martial-arts expert, Norris also is known for his “facts.”
You know the ones: Chuck Norris sleeps with a light on because the dark is afraid of him, Superman has a pair of Chuck Norris pajamas, Chuck Norris was dispatched by President Bush to secure the nation’s southern border – alone.
His newest book features some of Norris’ own favorite “facts,” such as:
- “Chuck Norris has already been to Mars; that’s why there are no signs of life there.”
- “They wanted to put Chuck Norris on Mount Rushmore, but the granite wasn’t tough enough for Chuck’s beard.”
- “Chuck Norris can lead a horse to water AND make it drink.”
- “There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.”
- “When the bogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.”
And here’s one you can see “proven” for yourself: “When Chuck Norris does push-ups, he doesn’t push himself up. He pushes the Earth down.”
The YouTube video notes that permission for the video clip was given by the family of 13-year-old Nickolas (Nick) Yancy Nischan, in whose honor and memory Norris made the tape.
According to the website for the foundation named after Nick, the story of the video is told in the new book.
Nick’s parents, Tim and Tammy Nischan, write that Nick was diagnosed with an ependymoma brain tumor at the age of 7 and battled it for more than six years, through multiple surgeries, chemo treatments and relapses.
“He went to school, played football and basketball, and was an active part of our church youth group,” they write. “Unfortunately, the cancer was relentless. Nick endured four more recurrences in the next two and a half years with brief periods of ‘normal, happy’ life in between surgeries. We tried special diets, herbal treatments, and many other alternative medicines along the way, but in August of 2008, Nick’s cancer returned with a vengeance spreading throughout his body and eventually taking him home to his Heavenly Father.
“Not once in the 6-1/2-year battle did Nick question his illness or complain of the unfairness he was enduring. Not once did Nick become angry. His peace throughout the battle is a living testimony to the power of God. We pray that his foundation will in some small way return the peace and hope which Nick gave us to the world around us,” they wrote. Norris made the personalized video as an encouragement to Nick.
The “facts” about Norris are hits on posters (“Chuck Norris did, in fact, build Rome in a day,” and “There is no such thing as global warming; Chuck Norris was cold so he turned the sun up”) as well as on the Internet, and now they are the subject of his new book.
Norris’ career began not in movies or television but rather as a real-life international martial-arts star. He was a six-time undefeated World Professional Middleweight Karate Champion, as well as a renowned teacher in the martial arts, with celebrity students including Steve McQueen, Bob Barker, Priscilla Presley and Donnie and Marie Osmond.
He has gone on to found the United Fighting Arts Federation with over 2,300 black belts all over the world. In 1997, Norris achieved another milestone in his life by being the first man in the Western Hemisphere to be awarded an eighth-degree Black Belt Grand Master recognition in the tae-kwon-do system. This was a first in 4,500 years of tradition.
Norris is also a powerboat racer. In 1991, he and his team won the World Offshore Powerboat championship.
Then he went on to setting a new world record by racing a 38-foot Scarab boat 605 miles across the Great Lakes, from Chicago to Detroit, in 12 hours and eight minutes.