November 27 1940 - San
The Year of the Dragon, Lee Jun
Fan was born at the Jackson Street Hospital in the Chinatown section of San
Francisco. Later to be known as Bruce Lee. His father, Lee Hoi-Chuen, a
performer with the Cantonese Opera Company, was touring in America at the time.
1941 - Hong Kong -
Bruce and his parents returned to Kowloon,
their family home.
1946 - Hong Kong -
At the age of six, he made his professional
screen debut in
The Beginning of a Boy.
1952 - Hong Kong -
He Entered La Salle College,
a Catholic boy's school.
1953 - Hong Kong -
After being involved in numerous street fights
in Hong Kong, Bruce studied Wing Chun under
Yip Man, a master of the
Wing Chun system of Kung-Fu.
1958 - Hong Kong -
Being an expert dancer, Bruce wins the Crown
Cha-Cha Championship. He
1959 - Hong Kong -
After more fierce street fighting ending in
police involvement, Mr. and Mrs. Lee decided that Bruce should exercise his
American citizenship and returned to San Francisco.
1959 - San Francisco -
Bruce arrived in the U.S. and stayed with an
old friend of his father's. He worked odd jobs around the various Chinese
communities. Later moves to Seattle to work for Ruby Chow, another friend of his
father's. He lived in a room above her restaurant while working as a waiter
downstairs. Eventually enrolled at Edison Technical School and earned his high
school diploma. He started teaching Gung-Fu in backyards and city parks.
1961 - Spring - Seattle
University of Washington.
He taught Gung-Fu to students at school.
1963 - Summer - Hong Kong -
Bruce returned to Hong Kong for the first
time since his arrival in the U.S. He returned to Seattle at the end of summer
to continue school.
1963 - October 25 - Seattle -
Bruce took out Linda Emery (the future Mrs.
Linda Lee) for their first date. They had Dinner at the Space Needle.
1963 - Fall - Seattle -
Bruce moved the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute into
a building (4750 University Way) near the university campus.
1964 - Summer - Oakland -
Bruce left Seattle
to start a second school in Oakland. His good friend, Taky Kimura, took over as
1964 - August 17 - Seattle -
Bruce returned to Seattle to marry Linda Emery.
Residing afterwards back in Oakland.
1964 - Oakland -
Several months after he began teaching, he was
challenged by a leading Gung-Fu practitioner in the Chinatown community. If
Bruce lost the challenge, he was either to close his school or stop teaching
Caucasians. At that time, the Chinese were reluctant to teach Caucasians their
martial arts. Bruce accepted and dispatched his opponent in only a couple of
minutes. Later he was bothered on why the fight took so long and began to
re-evaluate his style. Thus, the early concepts of
Jeet Kune Do.
1964 - August 2 - Long Beach
Ed Parker, known as the Father of American
Karate (Kenpo), invited Bruce to give a
demonstration at his
first International Karate Championships. In the audience was Jay Sebring, the
hair stylist for Batman
producer William Dozier who was looking to cast a part in a TV series he was
developing. Sebring then gives a film of Bruce's demo to Dozier who was
impressed at what he saw. Bruce later flied down to Los Angeles for a screen
1965 - February 1 - Oakland, CA
1965 - February 8 - Hong Kong -
Bruce's father passed
1966 - Los Angeles -
Bruce and family moved to Los Angeles where he
began working on a new TV series called
Kato. Later he opened
third branch of the Jun Fan Gung-Fu Institute in Los Angeles' Chinatown.
1967-1971 - Hollywood -
During this time, Bruce landed bit parts in
various films and TV series (Marlowe, Longstreet).
He also gave private lessons for up to $250 an hour to the likes of Steve
McQueen, James Coburn, James Garner, Lee Marvin, Roman Polanski, and Kareem
1969 - April 19 - Santa Monica,
Daughter Shannon Lee was born.
1970 - Los Angeles
Bruce injured his back while training. The
following period of inactivity he started to document his training methods and
his philosophy of Jeet Kune Do. Later after his death,
The Tao of Jeet Kune Do
was published by his wife.
1971 - Hong Kong -
Bruce took a short trip back to Hong Kong to
arrange for his mother to live in the U.S. Unknowingly to him, he had become a
The Green Hornet was one of the most popular TV
shows in Hong Kong. Later was approached by
Raymond Chow, owner of a
new production company, and offered the lead role in a new film called
The Big Boss. He
1971- July - Thailand -
Filming began for
The Big Boss (released as
Fists of Fury in U.S.).
Opened in Hong Kong to great reviews and mobs of fans. Proceeded to gross more
than $3.5 million in little than three weeks.
1972 - Hong Kong -
Fist of Fury
The Chinese Connection in
the U.S.) was released. Grossed more than
The Big Boss and further established Bruce as a
Hong Kong superstar.
1972 - Rome, Italy -
Location shots were made for Bruce's third film
The Way of the
Dragon (later called
The Return of the
Dragon), which he wrote,
directed, and stared in.
Chuck Norris was Bruce's
adversary in the final fight scene. Again, this film surpassed all records set
by his previous two films.
1972 - Hong Kong -
Bruce began work on
Game of Death
and filmed several fight scenes including Danny Inosanto and
1973 - February - Hong Kong-
Dragon began. It was the
first-ever production between the U.S. and Hong Kong film industries.
Game of Death was never
completed. (Later completed after his death using a stand-in for Bruce's un-shot
1973 - April - Hong Kong -
Filming of Enter
the Dragon was completed.
1973 - July 20 - Hong Kong -
Bruce Lee died in Hong Kong. But noon really
knows how he died. Enter the Dragon
premiered a month later to much success.
1973 - July 25 - Hong Kong -
A funeral ceremony was held for friends and
fans in Hong Kong consisting of over 25,000 people. Bruce was dressed in the
Chinese outfit he wore in Enter the Dragon.
1973 - July 30 - Seattle -
After a smaller second ceremony, Bruce Lee was
buried at Lake View Cemetery. His pallbearers included Steve McQueen, James
Coburn, Danny Inosanto, Taky Kimura, and his brother, Robert Lee.