- 1940 - November 27 - San Francisco- The Year of the Dragon, Lee Jun
Fan is 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 return to Kowloon, their family home.
- 1946 - Hong Kong - At the age of six, he makes his professional screen
debut in The Beginning of a Boy. During the later years of his chilhood, Bruce appears in
20 more films in Southeast Asia. Lastly, being the film The Orphan at age 18.
- 1953 - Hong Kong - After being involved in numerous street fights in
Hong Kong, Bruce begins training under Sifu Yip Man, a master of the wing chun
system of gung fu.
- 1958 - Hong Kong - Being an expert dancer, Bruce wins the Crown
Colony Cha-Cha Championship.
- 1959 - Hong Kong - After more fierce street fighting ending in police
involvement, Mr. and Mrs. Lee decide that Bruce should exercise his American citizenship and
return to San francisco.
- 1959 - San Francisco - Seattle - Bruce arrives in the U.S. and stays with an
old friend of his father's. He works odd jobs around the various chinese communities. Later
moves to Seattle to work for Ruby Chow, another friend of his father's. He lives in a room above
her restaurant while working as a waiter downstairs. Eventually enrolls at Edison Technical
School and earns his school diploma. Starts teaching gung fu in backyards and city parks.
- 1961 - Spring - Seattle- Enrolls at the University of Washington.
Major - Philosophy. Teachs gung fu to students at school.
- 1963 - Summer - Hong Kong - Returns to Hong Kong for the first time
since his arrival in the U.S. Returns to Seattle at the end of summer to continue school.
- 1963 - October 25 - Seattle - Bruce takes out Linda Emery (the future
Mrs. Linda Lee) for their first date. Dinner at the Space Needle.
- 1963 - Fall - Seattle - Moves the Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute into a building
(4750 University Way) near the university campus.
- 1964 - Summer - Oakland - Bruce leaves Seattle to start a second school in
Oakland. His good friend, Taky Kimura, takes over as head instructor.
- 1964 - August 17 - Seattle - Bruce returns to Seattle to marry Linda
Emery. Residing afterwards back in Oakland.
- 1964 - Oakland - Several months after he begins teaching, he is 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 accepts and dispatches his opponent in only a couple of
minutes. Later he is bothered on why the fight took so long and begins to re-evaluate his style.
Thus, the early concepts of Jeet Kune
Do, Bruce Lee's own style, are born.
- 1964 - August 2 - Long Beach, Ca - Ed Parker, known as the Father of
American Karate (Kenpo), invites Bruce to give a demonstation at his first International Karate
Championships. In the audience is Jay Sebring, the hair stylist for Batman producer
William Dozier who is looking to cast a part in a TV series he was developing. Sebring then gives
a film of Bruce's demo to Dozier who is empressed at what he sees. Bruce later flys down to Los
Angeles for a screen test.
- 1965 - February 1 - Oakland, CA - Brandon
Bruce Lee is born.
- 1965 - February 8 - Hong Kong - Bruce's father passes away.
- 1966 - Los Angeles - Bruce and family move to Los Angeles where he
begins working on a new TV series called The Green Hornet as Kato. Later opens third branch of the Jun Fan
Gung Fu Institute in Los Angeles' Chinatown.
- 1967-1971 - Hollywood - During this time, Bruce lands bit parts in various
films and T.V. series (Marlowe, Longstreet). He also gives private lessons for up to $250
an hour to the likes of Steve McQueen, James Coburn, James Garner, Lee Marvin, Roman
Polanski, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
- 1969 - April 19 - Santa Monica, CA - Daughter Shannon Lee is born.
- 1970 - Los Angeles - Bruce injures his back while training. The following
period of inactivity he starts to document his training methods and his philosophy of Jeet Kune
Do. Later after his death, The Tao of
Jeet Kune Do is published by his wife.
- 1971 - Hong Kong. - Takes 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 superstar for The Green
Hornet was one of the most popular TV shows in Hong Kong. Later is approached by
Raymond Chow, owner of a new production
company, and offered the lead role in a new film
called The Big Boss. He accepts.
- 1971- July - Thailand - Filming begins for The Big Boss (released
as Fists of Fury in U.S.). Opens in Hong Kong to great reviews and mobs of fans.
Proceeds to gross more than $3.5 million in little than three weeks.
- 1972 - Hong Kong - Fist of Fury (called The Chinese Connection in the U.S.) is
released. Grosses more than The Big Boss and further
establishes Bruce as a Hong Kong superstar.
- 1972 - Rome, Italy - Location shots are made for Bruce's third film
The Way of the Dragon (later called The Return of the Dragon), which he writes,
directs, and stars in. Chuck Norris is
Bruce's adversary in the final fight scene. Again, this film surpasses all records set by his previous
- 1972 - Hong Kong - Bruce begins work on Game of Death and
several fight scenes including Danny Inosanto and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
- 1973 - February - Hong Kong- Filming of Enter the Dragon
begins. It is the first-ever production between the U.S. and Hong Kong film industries. Game
of Death is never completed. (Later completed after his death using a stand-in for Bruce's
- 1973 - April - Hong Kong - Filming of Enter the Dragon is
- 1973 - July 20 - Hong Kong - Bruce Lee dies in Hong Kong of an
apparent cerebral edema (swelling of the brain). Enter the Dragon premieres a month later
to much success.
- 1973 - July 25 - Hong Kong - A funeral ceremony is held for friends and
fans in Hong Kong consisting of over 25,000 people. Bruce is dressed in the Chinese outfit he
wore in Enter the Dragon.
- 1973 - July 30 - Seattle - After a smaller second ceremony, Bruce Lee is
buried at Lake View Cemetery. His pallbearers included Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Danny
Inosanto, Taky Kimura, and his brother, Robert Lee.