Chuck Norris, the martial artist turned Hollywood legend, is not only known for his tough on-screen persona but also for his unwavering dedication to family. As he recently celebrated his mother’s 102nd birthday, he took a moment to honor the woman who played a pivotal role in shaping his life.

Over the years, Chuck Norris has been an icon of strength, inspiring millions around the world with his martial arts skills and action-packed films. Holding black belts in Tang Soo Do, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and judo, he founded the discipline Chun Kuk Do, a fusion of traditional Taekwondo styles. His fame extends far beyond Hollywood, and his name is synonymous with power and resilience.

However, beyond the glitz and glamour of the entertainment world, Chuck Norris is a devoted family man. Married to his wife Gena O’Kelley, a former model, for over 22 years, he never misses a chance to express his love and appreciation for her. Recently, he shared a heartwarming photo of their wedding day, gushing about the joy she has brought into his life.

But it’s not just Gena who holds a special place in his heart; his mother, Wilma Norris Knight, remains an important figure in his life. Turning 102, Wilma’s life has been a journey of perseverance and faith. Chuck expressed his admiration and gratitude in a heartfelt letter to his beloved mom, acknowledging her unwavering support throughout his life’s challenges.

“I don’t know what’s more difficult to believe: that you are 102 years old or that you have a son who is 83 years old! Regardless, I’m so grateful you are my mom. I always have been. We’ve been through thick and thin in this life, and we are still going strong,” Chuck wrote, expressing his love and admiration.

Wilma’s life was far from easy, having experienced the hardships of the Great Depression and being forced to do multiple jobs, including cotton picking, in her early years. She faced the devastating loss of two husbands, a stepson, two grandchildren, and her youngest son, Wieland, who tragically fell in the Vietnam War. Additionally, she battled cancer numerous times and underwent around 30 surgeries for various health issues.

Despite these trials, Wilma’s strength and faith never wavered. In an interview on The Mike Huckabee Show, she lovingly described her three sons: Chuck, the “defender”; Aaron, her “sunshine”; and Wieland, her “hero.” It’s clear that the values she instilled in them shaped the men they became.

Chuck Norris attributes much of his success to his mother’s unwavering support and prayers. Her prayers were there when he faced life-threatening complications at birth, and they were there when he struggled in the tumultuous world of Hollywood. Her prayers even played a role in finding him the love of his life, Gena.

As a journalist, I can’t help but be moved by this touching tale of a son’s love for his mother. Chuck Norris’ success and fame may have made him an international icon, but it’s his love and appreciation for his family that truly defines him. His story reminds us that behind every legend, there’s a person shaped by the love and values instilled by their family.

As Chuck Norris continues to celebrate his 83rd year, I join millions around the world in saluting the enduring spirit of Wilma Norris Knight on her 102nd birthday. Her life is a testament to the power of faith, perseverance, and the lasting bond between a mother and her son. Here’s to a remarkable woman who inspired a martial arts legend and touched the hearts of countless admirers worldwide.