Born in Beijing, Jet began studying Chinese wushu (martial arts) at the age of 8 and was a 5-time consecutive All-Around National Wushu Champion of China (1975-1979). As a child, he was selected by the Chinese government to perform at various diplomatic functions in over 45 countries, including for President Richard Nixon of the United States.
At the age of 17, Jet kicked off his 30+ year film career with his lead role in Shaolin Temple in 1982. Since then, he has starred in countless classic Chinese martial arts epics, such as Once Upon a Time in China, Fist of Legend, Hero and Fearless. His film credits also include numerous international hits such as Lethal Weapon 4, Romeo Must Die, The Mummy 3 and Expendables. In 2010, Jet Li starred in the critically acclaimed film Ocean Heaven, which depicted the struggles of a terminally ill father struggling to teach his autistic son how to survive on his own.
In 2007, Jet founded One Foundation, which advocates broad-based participation in philanthropy and volunteerism as a way of life. With its innovative mass micro-philanthropy model of “every 1 person + every 1 month + donates 1 dollar/yuan = 1 big family,” One Foundation has been a major force in the development of China’s nascent philanthropy sector. On January 11th, 2011, One Foundation officially announced it had received legal status as an independent Public Foundation, becoming the first private NGO to successfully complete this transition and thus setting an example in China’s NGO sector.
Additionally, Jet currently serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for the World Health Organization (WHO). Previously, he served as Goodwill Ambassador for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).