Lee Jun Fan was born November 27, 1940 in San Francisco, California. He was known by many names throughout his life: Lee Yuan Xin (his family name), Lee Yuan Jian (the name he used while studying at La Salle College), and his Chinese stage name of Li Xiao Long (meaning "small dragon"). He later would become known to fans throughout the world as Bruce Lee.
Lee was raised in Hong Kong until his late teens. Although his mother belonged to one of the wealthiest families in Hong Kong, Lee often engaged in fights with the gangs that occupied its post-war streets. It was because of these fights that his father decided to have Lee trained in martial arts. His studies did not tame his temper, however, and following further violence, he was sent back to America to live with his sister, Agnes. Lee lived with his sister in San Francisco for only a few months before moving to Seattle, where he worked as a waiter and attended the University of Washington, majoring in drama. It was during these studies that he met his wife, Linda, with whom he had two children, Brandon and Shannon.
Bruce Lee continued the practice of martial arts, specifically Jeet Kune Do, and performing at competitions. It was at the 1964 Long Beach Karate Championships that Hollywood took an interest in Lee. Thus began a film career that started with the role of Kato in TV's "Green Hornet" and led to such films as "Fist of Fury".
On July 20, 1973, Lee died at age 32 from brain swelling due to an allergic reaction to a muscle relaxant. Conspiracy theorists pointed to Triad assassination, but regardless of the cause, the world mourned the loss of a great actor and martial artist.