From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Kelly, James M. "Jim"

(born: 1946  -  died: 2013) 

Born in Millersburg, KY, Jim Kelly, a martial arts practitioner,
co-starred in the film Enter the Dragon, starred in Black Belt Jones, and acted in other movies. Kelly was an athlete in high school and participated in several sports. He was also a professional tennis player and coach. He briefly attended the University of Louisville but left school to study karate. In 1971 he won the International Middleweight Karate Championship. Jim Kelly resided in San Diego, CA. His family is from Millersburg, KY, where they resided for more than a century, and includes Kelly's great-grandparents William and Lizzie Lewis, both born in the 1840s according to the U.S. Federal Census. For more see Jim Kelly (II); and Jim Kelly (martial artist) a Wikipeida website.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Enter the dragon (videorecording)
NKAA Source: Black Belt Jones (videorecording)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Kelly, James M. "Jim",” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 29, 2022,

Last modified: 2018-01-10 00:21:54