How Bruce Lee Changed The World
by History Channel, 2009


It’s been more than thirty-five years since the death of the man collectively hailed as the king of martial arts movies. A man who single handedly changed the stereotype of Asian characters in film, and who died before seeing the impact he created.
A man who changed the world forever…
Two-hour Special Presentation Premieres Sunday, May 10 at 8pm ET on HISTORY™
New York, April 2009 – Bruce Lee is universally recognized for prying open the doors of ancient Chinese martial arts to the mass market— defining a moment in an era when “everybody was kung fu fighting.” The history of Lee’s life, and death at the age of only 32, is shrouded in mystery, but his influence on popular culture continues to be felt today. HISTORY™ presents a special two-hour exploration of the Bruce Lee phenomenon. HOW BRUCE LEE CHANGED THE WORLD premieres Sunday, May 10 at 8pm ET on HISTORY™.
HOW BRUCE LEE CHANGED THE WORLD takes a detailed and unique look into Lee’s legacy— revealing the story of his rise from the backstreets of Hong Kong, while documenting Lee’s qualities, both physical and philosophical, that drove him to international stardom. More than just a biography, this special pieces together rare family archive and material owned by the Bruce Lee Foundation, together with in-depth interviews with individuals who continue to cite inspiration from Lee to this day.
Bruce Lee is known as one of the greatest martial artists of all time. His commitment to a principled approach of training, and an unparalleled skill and proficiency in all martial arts disciplines, resulted in the creation of one of the greatest physiques in modern history.
He was able to perform superhuman physical feats that have yet to be equaled, such as a two fingered push-up and a lethal blow called the one-inch punch, and was the first person to use kung fu skills on screen without the aid of special effects.
Since his death, Lee has been recognized as a visionary who changed not just action movies and martial arts, but an icon that created this very simple image that is endlessly reproducible to this day. From his role as Kato on television’s “Green Hornet” to his groundbreaking debut film “Enter the Dragon,” Lee blew up the stereotype of how Asian characters would be portrayed on screen forever. With no one able to fill the void after his death, a rash of Bruce Lee look-alikes and copycat films emerged inspiring a whole new film genre.
A cinematic journey, this special takes the viewer across the US, Asia and Europe exploring Lee’s influence on popular culture worldwide— even joining Shannon Lee on a trip back to her father’s roots in Hong Kong; nearly fifty years after Lee arrived to make his first kung fu film. HOW BRUCE LEE CHANGED THE WORLD also features in-depth interviews with actor Jackie Chan, comedian Eddie Griffin, rappers LL Cool J and RZA, Marvel Comics' Stan Lee, and renowned film directors John Woo and Brett Rattner among others. Lee’s friend and business partner famed Hong Kong film producer, Raymond Chow gives a rare interview.
HOW BRUCE LEE CHANGED THE WORLD is co-produced for HISTORY by Waddell Media and Leeway Productions. Executive producer for HISTORY is Dirk Hoogstra.
Legend of Bruce Lee Translation Project