Lee was born in 1940 and died in 1973 at age 33. He was a local martial artist who gained national fame after teaching Jeet Kune Do to movie stars who helped promote him and his ideas. Television and movies made him famous, not his expertise in the ring, not his being a great teacher or trainer, and not his being a great author, and certainly not his innovations in the martial arts.
Lee was an avid reader who collected information on the martial arts from many sources and used this information regularly in interviews and in his writings. After his death, his supporters have quoted his statements and notes as being great original insights from Lee himself. One source of many of these quotes is the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, a collection of Lee’s notes that was published as a book in 1975, after his death. Lee intended to make the notes into a book but he died before the book was written. After his death, Linda Lee, his wife, published the notes as though they were the original thoughts of a great martial arts master.