38th Governor of California
November 17, 2003
(2003 - 2007)
(2007 - Present)
|July 30, 1947 (age 59)
Thal bei Graz, Steiermark, Austria
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (German pronunciation (IPA): [aɐnɔlt aloʏs ʃvaɐtsənɛgɐ]) (born on July 30, 1947, in Thal, Austria) is an Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor and an American politician, currently serving as the 38th Governor of California. He was elected on October 7, 2003, in a special recall election to replace then-Governor Gray Davis. Schwarzenegger was sworn in on November 17, 2003, to serve the remainder of Davis' term. Schwarzenegger was then reelected on November 7, 2006, in California's 2006 gubernatorial election to serve a full term as governor by defeating Democrat Phil Angelides, (at that time) the California State Treasurer. Schwarzenegger was sworn in for a second term on January 5, 2007.
Nicknamed "The Austrian Oak" in his body building days, "Arnie" or "Ahnold" (playing off his accent) during his acting career, and more recently "The Governator" (a blend of Governor and Terminator, referring to his internationally popular film role), Schwarzenegger as a young man gained widespread attention as a highly successful bodybuilder, and later gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film star. Perhaps his most famous film is The Terminator, with other famous movies including Predator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, The Sixth Day, Eraser, True Lies, Kindergarten Cop, Total Recall, Junior, Jingle All The Way, Last Action Hero, Commando, and his Hollywood breakthrough film Conan the Barbarian and its sequel Conan the Destroyer.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Thal, Austria, a city bordering the Styrian capital Graz, and christened Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger. His parents were the local police chief Gustav Schwarzenegger (1907 – 1972), and his wife, the former Aurelia Jadrny (1922 – 1998). They were married on October 20, 1945 - Gustav was 38, Aurelia a 23-year-old widow with a son named Meinhard. Gustav was a strict and demanding father, who generally favored the elder Meinhard. Arnold had a good relationship with his mother and kept in touch with her until her death. Arnold's father was a Nazi, but Arnold himself has reportedly disavowed Nazi views.
As a boy, Schwarzenegger played many sports, but discovered a passion for bodybuilding in his mid-teens after his soccer coach took the team to weight training. Arnold took to visiting a gym in Graz, where he also frequented the local cinemas to see bodybuilding idols such as Reg Park, Steve Reeves and Johnny Weissmuller on the big screen. He was so dedicated as a youngster that he was known to break into the local gym on weekends, when it was usually closed, so that he could train.
In 1971, Meinhard died in a car accident. Arnold, who was also in the vehicle, has since said that his brother was driving drunk. Gustav died the following year. In Pumping Iron, Schwarzenegger claimed that he did not attend his father's funeral because he was training for a bodybuilding contest. Later, he and the film's producer both stated that this story was taken from another bodybuilder for the purpose of showing the extremes that some would go to for their sport, and to make Arnold's image more cold and machine-like to fan controversy for the film.
Schwarzenegger served in the Austrian army in 1965 to fulfill the one year of service required of all 18-year-old Austrian males at the time. He did sneak away to win the Junior Mr. Europe title. Contrary to popular belief, it was not Schwarzengger's bodybuilding debut, which had occurred two years earlier at a minor contest in Graz, at Steirer Hof Hotel, where he had placed second). He was punished for leaving the base, but the respect he gained from his superiors was obvious, his drill sergeant once yelling at a group of soldiers, "Why don't you be more like Schwarzenegger?"
Schwarzenegger made his first plane trip in 1966, attending the NABBA Mr. Universe competition in London. He arrived in the United Kingdom knowing little English. It was there that he acquired the nickname "The Austrian Oak" (or "The Styrian Oak") due partly to his large build, and partly to a story of him performing chin-ups from the limb of an oak tree on the banks of the lake Thalersee. He would come in second in the Mr. Universe competition, and returned to win the title the following year, becoming the youngest-ever Mr. Universe at the age of 20.
Schwarzenegger moved to the United States in September of 1968, having little money and still weak in English. There he trained at Gold's Gym in Santa Monica, California, under the patronage of Joe Weider. Schwarzenegger became good friends with professional wrestler "Superstar" Billy Graham.
Schwarzenegger first gained fame as a bodybuilder. One of the first competitions he won was the Junior Mr. Europe contest in 1965, as noted above. He would go on to compete in and win many bodybuilding (as well as some powerlifting) contests, including 5 Mr. Universe (4 - NABBA (England), 1 - IFBB (USA)) wins and 7 Mr. Olympia wins, a record which would stand until Lee Haney won his eighth straight Mr. Olympia title in 1991.
In 1967 Schwarzenegger competed in the Munich stone-lifting contest, in which a stone weighing 508 German pounds (254kg/560lbs) is lifted between the legs while standing on two foot rests. He broke the existing record and won the contest.
Schwarzenegger's goal was to become the greatest bodybuilder in the world, which meant becoming Mr. Olympia. His first attempt was in 1969 where he lost to three-time champion Sergio Oliva. However Schwarzenegger came back in 1970 and won the competition.
He continued his winning streak in the 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974 competitions. In 1975, Schwarzenegger was once again in top form and won the title for the sixth consecutive time, beating Lou Ferrigno. After the 1975 Olympia, Schwarzenegger announced his retirement from professional bodybuilding.
Months before the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest film-makers George Butler and Robert Fiore convinced Arnold to compete in order to film his training in the bodybuilding documentary called Pumping Iron. Schwarzenegger had only three months to prepare for the competition after losing significant weight to appear in the film Stay Hungry with Jeff Bridges. Ferrigno proved not to be a threat, and a lighter than usual Schwarzenegger convincingly won the 1975 Olympia. After being declared Mr. Olympia for a sixth consecutive time Schwarzenegger retired from competition.
Schwarzenegger came out of retirement to compete in the 1980 Mr. Olympia. Schwarzenegger was training for his role in Conan when he got into such good shape because of the running, horseback riding, and sword training that he decided he wanted to win the Mr. Olympia one last time. He kept this plan secret in the event that a training accident prevented his entry and caused him a loss of face. Schwarzenegger had been hired to provide Color commentary for network television when he announced at the eleventh hour that while he was there; "Why not compete?". Schwarzenegger ended up winning the event with only eight weeks of preparation. At the time, this led to some controversy, some claiming that the Olympia had become a "popularity contest" rather than an objectively judged competition.
Schwarzenegger is considered among the most important figures in the history of bodybuilding, and his legacy is commemorated in the Arnold Classic annual bodybuilding competition. Schwarzenegger has remained a prominent face in the bodybuilding sport long after his retirement, in part due to his ownership of gyms and fitness magazines. He has presided over numerous contests and awards shows. For many years he wrote a monthly column for the bodybuilding magazines Muscle & Fitness and Flex. Shortly after being elected Governor, he was appointed executive editor of both magazines in a largely symbolic capacity. The magazines agreed to donate $250,000 a year to the Governor's various physical fitness initiatives. The magazine MuscleMag International has a monthly two page article on him and refers to him as "The King."
It has been claimed that Schwarzenegger won his first of seven Mr. Olympia titles in 1970 with the help of Dianabol and testosterone propionate. He has admitted to using performance-enhancing anabolic steroids while they were legal, writing in 1977 that "steroids were helpful to me in maintaining muscle size while on a strict diet in preparation for a contest. I did not use them for muscle growth, but rather for muscle maintenance when cutting up." Schwarzenegger has called the drugs "tissue building."
In 1999, Schwarzenegger sued Dr. Willi Heepe, a German doctor who publicly predicted an early death for the bodybuilder, based on a link between steroid use and later heart problems. Because the doctor had never examined him personally, Schwarzenegger collected a DM 20,000 ($12,000 USD) libel judgment against him in a German court. In 1999 Schwarzenegger also sued and settled with The Globe, a U.S. tabloid which had made similar predictions about the bodybuilder's future health. As late as 1996, a year before open heart surgery to replace an aortic valve, Schwarzenegger publicly defended his use of anabolic steroids during his bodybuilding career.
Schwarzenegger was born with a bicuspid aortic valve; a normal aorta has three leaflets. According to a spokesperson, Schwarzenegger has not used anabolic steroids since 1990 when they were made illegal.
|Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger
|July 30, 1947 (age 59)
|Maria Shriver (26 April 1986 - present) 4 children
|The Terminator in
The Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
John Matrix in
Maj. Dutch Schaeffer in
Douglas Quaid in
Detective John Kimble in
Harry Tasker in
|Golden Globe Awards
|Best New Male Star
1976 Stay Hungry
Best Actor - Musical or Comedy
In 1971, Arnold Schwarzenegger was known as the World's Strongest Man, he had long planned to move from bodybuilding into acting, as many of his idols had done, such as Reg Park. Initially he had trouble breaking into films due to his long surname, "overly" large muscles, and foreign accent, but he was nevertheless chosen to play the role of Hercules (as both Reg Park and Steve Reeves had done) in Hercules in New York (1970).
Credited under the name "Arnold Strong", his accent in the film was so thick that producers feared he would not be easily understood by audiences, and had his lines dubbed after production.  His second film appearance was as a deaf and mute hit-man for the mob in director Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye (1973), which was followed by a much more significant part in the film Stay Hungry (1976), for which he was awarded a Golden Globe for Best New Male Star.
Schwarzenegger came to the attention of more people in the documentary Pumping Iron (1977), elements of which were dramatized. In 1991, Schwarzenegger purchased the rights to this film, its outtakes, and associated still photography.
Arnold also appeared with Kirk Douglas and Ann Margaret in the comedy, The Villain (1979). Schwarzenegger's breakthrough film was Conan the Barbarian (1982), and this was cemented by a sequel, Conan the Destroyer (1984). As an actor, he is best-known as the title character of director James Cameron's cyborg thriller The Terminator (1984). Schwarzenegger's acting ability (described by one critic as having an emotional range that "stretches from An almost to B") has long been the butt of many jokes; he retains a strong Austrian accent in his speech at all times.
He also made a mark for injecting his films with a droll, often self-deprecating sense of humor, setting him apart from more serious action heroes such as Sylvester Stallone. (As an aside, his alternative-universe comedy/thriller Last Action Hero featured a poster of the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day which, in that alternate universe, had Sylvester Stallone as its star; a similar in-joke in Twins suggested that the two actors might one day co-star, something which has yet to come to pass).
Following his arrival as a Hollywood superstar, he made a number of successful films: Commando (1985), Raw Deal (1986), The Running Man (1987), and Red Heat (1988). In Predator (1987), another successful film, Schwarzenegger led a cast which included future Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura (Ventura also appears in Running Man as well as in the film Batman & Robin which Schwarzenegger also starred in) and future Kentucky Gubernatorial Candidate Sonny Landham. Twins, (1988) a comedy with Danny DeVito, was a change of pace. Total Recall (1990), at that time the most expensive film ever, netted Schwarzenegger $10 million and 15% of the gross, and was, although violent, a widely praised, thought-provoking science-fiction script (based on the Phillip K Dick short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale) behind his usual violent action. Kindergarten Cop (1990) was another comedy.
Schwarzenegger had a brief foray into directing, first with a 1990 episode of the TV series Tales from the Crypt, entitled 
His latest film appearances included a cameo appearance in The Rundown with The Rock and the 2004 remake of Around the World in 80 Days, notable for featuring him onscreen with action star Jackie Chan for the first time.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has stated in many interviews he never regrets doing a role and he feels really bad when he turns down a role. There are however conflicting reports that Schwarzenegger will be starring in the next Terminator installment - Terminator 4.
On 12 December 2006, it was announced that Ricky Gervais plans to make a third series of hit show Extras and he wants Schwarzenegger to star in it. Gervais said, "My wish list for guests to appear in another series is as long as your arm, but Governor Schwarzenegger has to be there."
Although a native speaker of German , Schwarzenegger does not perform his own voice in the German versions of his films, with his roles usually read by voice actor Thomas Danneberg.
Schwarzenegger is a registered Republican. In 1985, Schwarzenegger appeared in Stop the Madness, an anti-drug music video sponsored by the Reagan administration. He first came to wide public notice as a Republican during the 1988 Presidential election, accompanying then Vice President George H.W. Bush at a campaign rally. Attacking Bush's Democratic opponents, he said to the crowd: "They all look like a bunch of girlie men, right?”.
Schwarzenegger's first political appointment was to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, on which he served from 1990 to 1993. He was nominated by George H. W. Bush, who dubbed him "Conan the Republican". He later served as Chairman for the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under Governor Pete Wilson.
Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy in the 2003 California recall election for Governor of California on the August 6, 2003 episode of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. As a candidate in the recall election, Schwarzenegger had the most name recognition in a crowded field of candidates, but he had never held public office and his political views were unknown to most Californians. His candidacy was immediate national and international news, with media outlets dubbing him the "Governator" (referring to The Terminator movies, see above) and "The Running Man" (the name of another of his movies), and calling the recall election "Total Recall" (ditto) and "Terminator 4: Rise of the Candidate" (referring to his movie Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines). At first Governor Gray Davis refused to debate or talk about the issues with Arnold, instead only making a flippant reference to the way Arnold pronounced California. As the election came near and Gray Davis realized that Arnold was a force to be reckoned with, he tried to change his policy, but Arnold had already become a strong candidate.
On October 7, 2003, the recall election resulted in Governor Gray Davis being removed from office with 55.4% of the Yes vote in favor of a recall. Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California under the second question on the ballot with 48.6% of the vote to choose a successor to Davis. Schwarzenegger defeated Democrat Cruz Bustamante, fellow Republican Tom McClintock, and others. His nearest rival, Bustamante, received less than 30% of the vote. In total, Schwarzenegger won the election by about 1.3 million votes. Under the regulations of the California Constitution, no runoff election was required.
Schwarzenegger's initial days in office were heady and the Democratic legislature gave him no honeymoon period. As soon as Schwarzenegger was elected governor, Willie Brown said he would start a drive to recall the governor. Schwarzenegger was equally entrenched in what he considered to be his mandate in cleaning up gridlock. Asked whether he would seek bipartisan cooperation from the democrats in the State Senate, Schwarzenegger quipped that he saw no reason to "talk with losers." Building on a catch phrase from a sketch partly parodying his bodybuilding career, Schwarzenegger called the Democratic State politicians "girlie men," a reference from a Saturday Night Live skit called "Hans and Franz" for putting special interests ahead of the interests of the people of California.
Schwarzenegger enjoyed a large degree of success and victories in his early governorship, including repealing an unpopular increase in the vehicle registration fee as well as preventing driver's licenses being given out to illegal aliens, but later began to feel the backlash when powerful state unions began to oppose his various initiatives. Key among his reckoning with political realities was a special election he called in November 2005, in which four ballot measures he sponsored were defeated. Schwarzenegger accepted personal responsibility for the defeats and vowed to continue to seek consensus for the people of California. He would later comment that no one could win if the opposition raised $160 million dollars to defeat you.
Schwarzenegger then bucked the advice of fellow Republican strategists and appointed a Democrat, Susan Kennedy, as his Chief of Staff. Schwarzenegger scrambled toward the political middle, determined to build a winning legacy with only a short time to go until the next gubernatorial election.
Schwarzenegger ran for re-election against Democrat Phil Angelides, the California State Treasurer, in the 2006 elections, held on November 7, 2006. Despite a poor year nationally for the Republican party, Schwarzenegger won re-election with 56.0% of the vote compared with 38.9% for Phil Angelides, a margin of well over one million votes. The election further enhanced his political credentials.
It was reported in February 2007 that Gov. Schwarzenegger offered his most lavish praise yet for 2008 presidential candidate John McCain. He called him a "great senator" and "very good friend" who shared his views on critical issues like the environment. He has not formally declared his support for McCain.
The March 1992 Spy magazine published a lengthy, and largely uncomplimentary, article about Schwarzenegger by Charles Fleming, which unearthed his father's Nazi party membership card and a nude picture of Arnold posing. The article speculated that Schwarzenegger intended to run for office.
In 1977, Schwarzenegger's autobiography Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder was published. He earned a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, where he graduated with degrees in international marketing of fitness and business administration in 1979.
Schwarzenegger became a U.S. citizen in 1983, although he also retains his Austrian citizenship.
The name "Schwarzenegger" in German means, approximately, "Black Ploughman" or "Ploughman of the Black Earth" ("Schwarz" = "black", "Egge" = "plow" or "harrow").  
In 1978 Arnold was dating Susan Moray, a hairdresser at Wm & Donald Salon on Main St., Ocean Park, CA. Both Arnold and Wm & Donald had omlettes named for them at The Omelette Parlor, also on Main St.
In 1986, Schwarzenegger married TV journalist Maria Shriver, niece of the past President of the United States John F. Kennedy.
The couple have four children:
|Katherine Eunice Schwarzenegger
|December 13, 1989
|Her middle name, Eunice, is the first name of her maternal grandmother.
|Christina Maria Aurelia Schwarzenegger
|July 23, 1991
|Her middle name, Aurelia, was the first name of her paternal grandmother.
|Patrick Arnold Schwarzenegger
|September 18, 1993
|His middle name, Arnold, is the first name of his father.
|Christopher Sargent Schwarzenegger
|September 27, 1997
|His middle name, Sargent, is the first name of his maternal grandfather.
In 2005 Peter Pilz from the Austrian Green Party in parliament demanded to revoke Schwarzenegger's Austrian citizenship. This demand was based on article 33 of the Austrian citizenship act that states: A citizen, who is in the public service of a foreign country, shall be deprived of his citizenship, if he heavily damages the reputation or the interests of the Austrian Republic.
In honor of its most famous son, Schwarzenegger's home town of Graz had named its soccer stadium after him. The Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium, now officially titled UPC-Arena, is the home of both Grazer AK and Sturm Graz. Following the Stanley Tookie Williams execution and after street protests in his home town, several local politicians began a campaign to remove Schwarzenegger's name from the stadium. Schwarzenegger responded, saying that "to spare the responsible politicians of the city of Graz further concern, I withdraw from them as of this day the right to use my name in association with the Liebenauer Stadium", and set a tight deadline of just a couple of days to remove his name. Graz officials removed Schwarzenegger's name from the stadium in December 2005.
By the age of 30, Schwarzenegger was a millionaire, well before his career in Hollywood. His financial independence came from a series of successful business ventures and investments. In 1968, Schwarzenegger and fellow bodybuilder Franco Columbu started a bricklaying business. The business flourished both because of the pair's marketing savvy and increased demand following a major Los Angeles earthquake in 1971. Schwarzenegger and Columbu used profits from their bricklaying venture to start a mail order business, selling bodybuilding and fitness-related equipment and instructional tapes. Schwarzenegger rolled profits from the mail order business and his bodybuilding competition winnings into his first real estate venture: an apartment building he purchased for $10,000. He would go on to invest in a number of real estate holding companies.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was a founding "celebrity investor" in the Planet Hollywood chain of international theme restaurants (modeled after the Hard Rock Cafe) along with Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and Demi Moore. Schwarzenegger severed his financial ties with the business in 2000.
Schwarzenegger's net worth has been conservatively estimated at USD $100-$200 million.
However, over the years, he invested his bodybuilding and movie earnings in an array of stocks, bonds, privately controlled companies and real estate holdings in the US and worldwide, so his fortune is actually estimated anywhere in between USD $800-$900 million.
During his initial campaign for governor, allegations of sexual and personal misconduct were raised against Schwarzenegger (see Gropegate). Within the last five days before the election, news reports appeared in the Los Angeles Times recounting allegations of sexual misconduct from several individual women, six of whom eventually came forward with their personal stories. 
Chronologically, they ranged from Elaine Stockton, who claimed that Schwarzenegger groped her breast at a Gold's Gym in 1975 (she was 19 at the time), to a 51 year old woman who said that he pinned her to his chest and spanked her shortly after she met him in connection with production of his film, The Sixth Day, in 2000.
None of the women mentioned above filed any legal action against Schwarzenegger.
Schwarzenegger admitted that he has "behaved badly sometimes" and apologized, but also stated that "a lot of (what) you see in the stories is not true." This came after an interview in adult magazine Oui from 1977 surfaced, in which Schwarzenegger discussed attending sexual orgies and indulging in drugs like marijuana. Schwarzenegger is shown smoking a marijuana cigarette after winning Mr. Olympia in the 1977 documentary film Pumping Iron.
British television personality Anna Richardson settled a libel lawsuit in August 2006 against Schwarzenegger and two of his top aides, Sean Walsh and publicist Sheryl Main. Richardson alleges that the California governor had groped her breast during a 2000 interview in London, to promote The Sixth Day, in which he had starred as an actor. Although, during his 2003 election campaign, Schwarzenegger had promised to respond to the allegations of sexual harassment by Richardson and several other women, he failed to do so after being elected. The groping followed Richardson's remark to Schwarzenegger that her breasts were "real," rather than the results of surgical breast augmentation. Main recalls the incident somewhat differently, claiming that she cupped one of her breasts and asked the actor-become-governor what he thought about them. According to information that Schwarzenegger has publicized, he has spent $600,000 in his legal defenses of himself and his aides against libel. .