Chuck Norris as Walker, Texas Ranger

Chuck Norris for years played a Texas Ranger on television, blasting criminals and ne’er-do-wells with his famous martial arts kicks, cuts and contortions. Now he is one, after Texas Gov. Rick Perry today named both Norris and his brother, Aaron Norris, honorary captains.

“Both Aaron and I are greatly honored and humbled by our selection for this award,” he said.

“As Cordell Walker in our TV series ‘Walker Texas Ranger,’ and as executive producer along with my brother, we were aware from the outset of our obligation to show this legendary law enforcement body in its proper light,” he said.

“Being able to have this association with the Texas Rangers, along with the friends we have made within this law enforcement group during eight and a half seasons of production, has been a highlight of our professional careers,” he said.

The ceremony was today at the Texas Rangers headquarters in Garland, Texas.

The program aired on CBS from 1993 to 2001, filmed 203 episodes and remains the most successful Saturday night series on CBS since “Gunsmoke.” It currently is seen by an estimated one billion viewers worldwide and airs daily in the U.S. and in more than 80 other nations.

According to the state of Texas, the Rangers are the oldest law enforcement organization on the North American continent with statewide jurisdiction.

Stephen F. Austin organized a group of citizens to provide for the protection of settlers in the region in 1823, calling them the Rangers.

In 1835, an ordinance was passed providing for three companies of Rangers, 56 men to the company, each commanded by a captain, first and second lieutenants, with a major in command. Privates then got $1.25 per day for “pay, rations, clothing, and horse service.”

The Texas Ranger Division now is a major division within the Texas Department of Public Safety with lead responsibility for major incident crime investigations, unsolved crime and serial crime investigations, public corruption investigations and others.

There are 144 commissioned Rangers, 24 non-commissioned supporter personnel and others.

It is right now developing a Public Corruption Unit and manages the department’s SWAT team.

In 2009, the agency handled 4,364 investigations and made 1,610 felony arrests, 133 misdemeanor arrests, executed 490 search warrants and secured 553 confessions to crimes.

Working to portray the organization “has deepened our respect and appreciation for the incredible work and service they perform on a daily basis and the continued honor they bring to the state of Texas and the country,” Norris said.

In the text of a speech by Perry provided to the Texas Tribune, Perry said, “When it was time to take the fight to the bad guys, there was only one choice to lead our efforts…”

“I … want to thank a man who has brought renewed attention to our Ranger corps, with his portrayal of an iconic Ranger, a character who was observant, meticulous, and honorable in every way,” he said. “People may whisper about his super powers, but the greatest power of Chuck Norris is his integrity and his commitment to training the next generation in self-reliance, hard work and honor.

“Throughout his years as Walker, Texas Ranger, Chuck had the support of his brother and executive producer, Aaron.

“Together, they helped elevate our Texas Rangers to truly mythical status,” Perry said.

State officials had voted in October for the honor.

Chuck Norris writes a weekly column for WND, and recently launched a C-Force column on WND, in which he talks about his workout regimens and health tips.

Norris is perhaps best known as an international film and television star, having appeared in more than 20 action movies and television series, including the world-popular “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

But Norris is also a former airman first class in the United States Air Force, a past spokesman for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the New York Times best-selling author of three books and a six-time undefeated world middleweight karate champion.

His fitness and nutrition advocacy has also led him to found Kickstart Kids, a character-building life-skills school curriculum that has trained over 60,000 at-risk middle-school children.

The “Chuck Norris facts” also make him a household name.

Recently on the occasion of his 70th birthday, a new series of “Chuck Norris facts” arose.

They included:

  • Chuck Norris doesn’t need Social Security, Social Security needs him.

  • It isn’t Chuck Norris’ birthday today, it’s his yearly apology to the obstetrician for knocking him out with a roundhouse kick coming out 70 yrs ago.
  • Wow, another year celebrates a Chuck Norris! Congratulations 2010!
  • No one throws Chuck Norris a party. He throws it… far.
  • When Chuck Norris goes to someone else’s birthday party, the host gives him a gift.
  • When Chuck Norris wishes someone, “Happy Birthday,” they are happy … all year.
  • When the birthday candles on Chuck Norris’ cake saw him coming, they blew themselves out. Happy birthday!
  • Chuck Norris stopped aging at 27. He just keeps anniversaries of this birthday so the rest of us don’t feel bad.
  • The last time Chuck Norris blew out some candles, we called it climate change.

Even in the United Kingdom, the London Daily Mirror noted the birthday with its own favorite “facts:”

  • Chuck Norris makes onions cry.

  • Chuck Norris can slam revolving doors.
  • When Chuck Norris does a push-up, he isn’t lifting himself up, he’s pushing the earth down.
  • Ghosts are actually caused by Chuck Norris killing people faster than death can process them.
  • Chuck Norris can build a snowman out of rain.
  • and, among others, a cobra once bit Chuck Norris’ leg. After five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died.

His best-selling “Facts” book is available online, including at WND’s Superstore where there is a special program that sends copies of the books to members of the U.S. military.

Chuck Norris’ previous book, “Black Belt Patriotism : How to Reawaken America,” also is available at the WND Superstore.

His newest authorship is the foreword for “Don’t Tread on US!: Signs of a 21st Century Political Awakening,” which has collected and displayed the best images from the tea party rallies.

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