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Bruce Lee Fans Commemorate 50th Anniversary Of His Death In Hong Kong

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Fans of martial arts legend Bruce Lee and martial arts enthusiasts gathered in Hong Kong to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their idol’s death. Lovers of the late actor were present to pay their respect to Lee as they laid flowers at his statue at the Avenue of Stars on the Kowloon shore of Victoria Harbor— a spot similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the US.

Lee is known to have inspired many martial artists and fans through his unique style and philosophy even long after his passing. A government-run museum in Hong Kong also organized a student camp to teach them Lee’s legacy and have them watch his movies.

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Life and Death of Bruce Lee

ENTER THE DRAGON, Bruce Lee, 1973. ©Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco on November 27, 1940. His family returned to Hong Kong when he was a baby and enrolled him in formal martial arts training as a young boy. He started his acting career as a child and started learning Chinese Kung Fu at 13. Lee then moved back to America at 19 to study philosophy at the University of Washington.

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RELATED: The Legacy of Bruce Lee Revealed: ‘He’s the Only Iconic Figure Whose Fame Came After His Death

Lee’s prowess and acting made Kung Fu famous worldwide, and he was one of the first Asian Americans to attain megastardom in Hollywood. He was also at the forefront of fighting racist stereotypes against Asian men within the American entertainment industry in the ’60s and ’70s. They (Asian men) were often portrayed as servants, unskilled workers, or evil geniuses in Hollywood movies.

ENTER THE DRAGON, Bruce Lee, 1973. ©Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

Sadly, the icon died young and at the height of his fame. He died fifty years ago on July 20 at the age of 32. Reports say Lee had a fatal allergic reaction to some medication he used for a headache. The legend’s untimely death shocked the world, and his last film, Enter The Dragon, was released six days after his passing, becoming his most famous movie.

Lee inspired many in life and death

Long after his death, Lee is still a source of inspiration to many, but some were fortunate to meet and learn from him during his lifetime. A translator named Sophie referred to Lee as her “savior,” with his quotes helping her endure feelings of helplessness due to the bullying she faced in secondary school. Sophie said she was initially attracted to his muscular build and moves on screen, then later, his words struck her.

ENTER THE DRAGON, Bruce Lee, 1973

One of Lee’s famous quotes, “Be water, my friend,” was used by protesters in the 2019 pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong to describe how they moved fluidly across the city. Most students at the martial arts institute in Hong Kong’s Jordan district choose to learn Jeet Kune Do—Lee’s martial arts style because of him. One of the students at the institute said Lee’s philosophy, skills, and thirst for learning inspire him. “Not be bounded by anything. One can learn a lot,” a student named Adrian Li said.

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