Arnold Schwarzenegger Biography

Arnold Schwarzenegger Biography on Monsters and Critics


"Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger" (German pronunciation ) (born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian-born American bodybuilder, actor, and politician, currently serving as the 38th Governor of the U.S. state of California. As a young man, Schwarzenegger gained widespread attention as a highly successful Bodybuilder. He later gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film icon.

Schwarzenegger was nicknamed 'The Austrian Oak' and 'The Styrian Oak' in his body-building days, 'Arnold Strong' and 'Arnie' during his acting career, and more recently 'The Governator' (a portmanteau of "Governor" and "Terminator," referring to his internationally popular film role).

Schwarzenegger is married to Maria Shriver. He is a Republican, and was first 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, who was California State Treasurer at the time. Schwarzenegger was sworn in for a second term on January 5, 2007. In May 2007, he was named as one of the Time 100 people who help shape the world.

Early life

Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Thal, a small village bordering the Styrian capital Graz, and was

christend 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, and Aurelia was a 23-year-old widow with a son named Meinhard. According to Schwarzenegger, both of his parents were 'very strict'. 'Back then in Austria it was a very different world-' he says, 'if we did something bad or we disobeyed our parents, the rod was not spared sic.' It was a Roman Catholic family who attended Church every Sunday. Gustav signed up for membership of the Nazi party and the SA after the 1938 Anschluss. At the time of signing up, Austria had not yet been invaded by Germany. Still, after the war, in 1947, Gustav was allowed to work as a police officer as there was no evidence he had committed war crimes. He had a preference for Meinhard, the elder of the two sons. Gustav's favouritism was 'strong and blatant', which stemmed from unfounded suspicion 'that Arnold wasn't his child.' Schwarzenegger has said his father had 'no patience for listening or understanding your problems...there was a wall; a real wall.' Schwarzenegger had a good relationship with his mother and kept in touch with her until her death. Schwarzenegger has reportedly disavowed Nazi views. In later life, Schwarzenegger commissioned the Simon Wiesenthal Centre to research his father's wartime record, which came up with no evidence of atrocities. At school, Schwarzenegger was apparently 'in the middle' but stood out for his 'cheerful, good-humored and exuberant' character. Money was a problem in the household; Schwarzenegger has recalled that one of the highlights of his youth was when the family bought a refrigerator.

As a boy, Schwarzenegger played many sports-heavily influenced by his father. He picked up his first barbell in 1960 when his soccer coach took his team to a local gym. At the age of 15 Schwarzenegger chose body-building over soccer as a career. Schwarzenegger has responded to a question asking if he was age 13 when he started weight-lifting: 'I actually started weight training when I was fifteen but I'd been participating in sports, like soccer, for years so I felt that although I was slim, I was well-developed, at least enough so that I could start going to the gym and start Olympic lifting.' However, his official website biography claims: 'At 14, he started an intensive training program with Kurt Marnul, studied psychology at 15 (to learn more about the power of mind over body) and at 17, officially started his competitive career.' During a speech in 2001 he said: 'My own plan formed when I was 14 years old. My father had wanted me to be a police officer like he was. My mother wanted me to go to trade school.' Schwarzenegger 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. 'I was inspired by individuals like Reg Park and Steve Reeves.' When Reeves passed away in 2000, Schwarzenegger fondly remembered him: ' As a teenager, I grew up with Steve Reeves. His remarkable accomplishments allowed me a sense of what was possible when others around me didn't always understand my dreams ... Steve Reeves has been part of everything I've ever been fortunate enough to achieve.' In 1961 Schwarzenegger met former Mr. Austria Kurt Marnul who invited him to train at the gym in Graz. 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. 'It would make me sick to miss a workout ... I knew I couldn't look at myself in the mirror the next morning if I didn't do it.' Schwarzenegger was asked about his first movie experience as a boy, he replied: 'I was very young, but I remember my father taking me to the Austrian theaters and seeing some newsreels. The first real movie I saw, that I distinctly remember, was a John Wayne movie.'

In 1971, his brother Meinhard died in a car accident. Meinhard had been drinking and was killed instantly, and Schwarzenegger did not attend his funeral. He was due to marry Erika Knapp and the couple shared a three-year-old son Patrick; Schwarzenegger would pay for Patrick's education and a life in America. Gustav died the following year from a stroke. 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 Schwarzenegger's image more cold and machine-like to fan controversy for the film. Barbara Baker, his first serious girlfriend has said he informed her of his father's death without emotion and never spoke of his brother. Over time, he has given at least three versions of why he did not attend his father's funeral.

In an interview with "Fortune Magazine" in 2004, Schwarzenegger told how he suffered what 'would now be called child abuse' at the hands of his father. 'My hair was pulled. I was hit with belts. So was the kid next door. It was just the way it was. Many of the children I've seen were broken by their parents, which was the German-Austrian mentality. They didn't want to create an individual. It was all about conforming. I was one who did not conform and whose will could not be broken. Therefore I became a rebel. Every time I got hit, and every time someone said, 'you can't do this,' I said, 'this is not going to be for much longer, because I'm going to move out of here. I want to be rich. I want to be somebody'.'

Early adulthood

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 won the Junior Mr. Europe contest in 1965. Schwarzenegger went AWOL during basic training so he could compete in the competition and spent a week in an army jail: 'Participating in the competition meant so much to me that I didn't carefully think through the consequences. When I got to Stuttgart, I was all confused. I forgot my posing routine, I had to borrow posing trunks, but still I won!' Contrary to popular belief, it was not Schwarzenegger's bodybuilding debut, which had occurred two years earlier at a minor contest in Graz, at Steirer Hof Hotel (where he had placed second).

'The Mr. Universe title was my ticket to America-the land of opportunity where I could become a star and get rich.' Schwarzenegger made his first plane trip in 1966, attending the NABBA Mr. Universe competition in London. He would come in second in the Mr. Universe competition, not having the muscle 'definition' of American winner Chet Yorton. He would win the title for the first time in 1967 (he invented new exercises to separate and define his muscle groups), becoming the youngest-ever Mr. Universe at the age of 20. He would go on to win the title an additional four times. Schwarzenegger then flew to Munich, training for four to six hours daily, attending business school and working in a health club, returning in 1968 to London to win his next Mr. Universe trophy. He was still to win the Mr. Olympia title.

Move to the U.S.

Schwarzenegger, making his third and most significant journey of his life, moved to the United States in September 1968 at the age of 21, speaking little English. He confirms his poor grasp of English: 'Naturally when I came to this country, my English was very bad, and my accent was also very strong which was an obstacle as I began to pursue acting.' There he trained at Gold's Gym in Santa Monica, California, under the patronage of Joe Weider. From 1970-1974, one of Schwarzenegger's weight training partners was Ric Drasin, the bodybuilder and professional wrestler who designed the original Gold's Gym logo in 1973. Schwarzenegger also became good friends with professional wrestler 'Superstar' Billy Graham. In 1970, age 23, he captured his first Mr. Olympia title in New York, and would go on to win the title a total of seven times.

In 1969, Schwarzenegger met Barbara Outland Baker, an English teacher he went out with until 1974. Schwarzenegger talked about Barbara in his memoir in 1977: 'Basically it came down to this. She was a well-balanced woman who wanted an ordinary, solid life, and I was not a well-balanced man and hated the very idea of ordinary life.' Baker has described Schwarzenegger as 'a joyful personality, totally charismatic, adventurous and athletic' but claims towards the end of the relationship he became 'insufferable-classically conceited-the world revolved around him' Baker published her memoir in 2006 entitled 'Arnold and Me: In the Shadow of the Austrian Oak' Although Baker, at times, paints an unflattering portrait of her former lover-Schwarzenegger actually contributed to the 'tell-all' book with a 'foreword' and also met with Baker for three hours. Baker claims for example, that she only learned of his being unfaithful after they split and talks of a turbulent and passionate love life. Schwarzenegger has made it clear that their respective recollection of events can differ. The couple first met six to eight months after his arrival in the U.S.-their first date was watching the first Apollo Moon landing on television. They shared an apartment in Santa Monica for three-and-a-half years, and having little money, would visit the beach all day or cook barbecues in the back yard. Although Baker claims that when she first met him, he had 'little understanding of polite society' and she found him a 'turn-off', she says: 'He's as much a self-made man as it's possible to be-he never got encouragement from his parents, his family, his brother. He just had this huge determination to prove himself, and that was very attractive ... I'll go to my grave knowing Arnold loved me.'

Schwarzenegger met his next love, Sue Moray (a Beverly Hills hairdresser assistant) on Venice Beach in July 1977. According to Moray, the couple led an 'open relationship': 'We were faithful when we were both in LA...but when he was out of town, we were free to do whatever we wanted.' Schwarzenegger met Maria Shriver at the Robert F. Kennedy Tennis Tournament in August 1977 and went on to have a relationship with both women until August 1978 when Moray (who knew of his relationship with Shriver) issued Schwarzenegger with an ultimatum. Around this time, Schwarzenegger was prematurely greying and began to dye his hair, afraid of growing old-steroids were also still part of his life.

Schwarzenegger has said his 'big dream' was to move to the U.S. from the age of 10. He questioned what he was doing 'on the farm' in Austria, and believed bodybuilding was his 'ticket to America': 'I'm sure I can go to America if I win Mr. Universe.' "LA Weekly" said in 2002 that Schwarzenegger is the most famous immigrant in America, who 'overcame a thick Austrian accent and transcended the unlikely background of bodybuilding to become the biggest movie star in the world in the 1990s.'

Bodybuilding career

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.'

One of the first competitions he won was the Junior Mr. Europe contest in 1965. He won Mr. Europe the following year, at age 19. He would go on to compete in and win many bodybuilding, as well as some powerlifting, contests, including five Mr. Universe (4-NABBA (England), 1-IFBB (USA)) wins and seven Mr. Olympia wins, a record which would stand until Lee Haney won his eighth consecutive Mr. Olympia title in 1991.

In 1967 Schwarzenegger competed in the Munich stone-lifting contest, in which a stone weighing 508 German pounds (254 kg/560 lb) is lifted between the legs while standing on two foot rests,and won. At his 'peak' Schwarzenegger has said the following on his size: 'During the peak of my career my calves were 20 inches, thighs 28.5 inches, waist 34 inches, chest 57 inches and 22 inch arms.'

Mr. Olympia

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 1971-1974 competitions. In 1975, Schwarzenegger was once again in top form and won the title for the sixth consecutive time, beating Serge Nubret. After the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest, Schwarzenegger announced his retirement from professional bodybuilding.

Months before the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest, film-makers George Butler and Robert Fiore persuaded Schwarzenegger 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 Mr. 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 contest 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.

Steroid use

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.' It has been alleged that Schwarzenegger won his first of seven Mr. Olympia titles in 1970 with the help of Dianabol and testosterone propionate.

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 with a human homograft valve, Schwarzenegger publicly defended his use of anabolic steroids during his bodybuilding career.

Schwarzenegger was born with a bicuspid aortic valve, an aortic valve with only two leaflets (a normal aorta has three leaflets). According to a spokesperson, Schwarzenegger has not used steroids since 1990 when they were made illegal.

Acting career

In 1970, 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 has discussed his early struggles in developing his acting career. 'It was very difficult for me in the beginning-I was told by agents and casting people that my body was 'too weird,' that I had a funny accent, and that my name was too long. You name it and they told me I had to change it. Basically everywhere I turned I was told that I had no chance.'

Schwarzenegger drew wide attention and boosted his profile in the body-building film "Pumping Iron" (1977), elements of which were dramatized. In 1991, Schwarzenegger purchased the rights to the film, its outtakes, and associated still photography.

Arnold also appeared with Kirk Douglas and Ann-Margret in the 1979 comedy, "The Villain". Schwarzenegger's breakthrough film was the 'mythical epic' "Conan the Barbarian" in 1982, which was a box office hit. This was followed by a sequel, "Conan the Destroyer" in 1984, which performed disappointingly. Later, he appeared on the cover of "High Times" magazine dressed as 'Conan The Barbarian'.

In 1983 Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in the promotional video 'Carnival in Rio'.

As an actor, he is best-known as the title character of director James Cameron's influential science fiction film "The Terminator" (1984) and its sequels. Following "The Terminator", Schwarzenegger made "Red Sonja" in 1985 which 'sank without a trace'.

He also made a mark for injecting his films with a droll, often self-deprecating sense of humor (including sometimes famously bad puns), setting him apart from more serious action heroes such as Sylvester Stallone. Schwarzenegger's 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. During the 1980s audiences had a large appetite for action films, with both Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone becoming international stars.

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 "Batman & Robin" in which Schwarzenegger starred) and future Kentucky Gubernatorial candidate Sonny Landham.

"Twins", (1988) a comedy with Danny DeVito, was a change of pace and also proved to be successful. "Total Recall" (1990), at that time the most expensive film ever, netted Schwarzenegger $10 million and 15% of the gross, and was a widely praised, thought-provoking science-fiction script (based on the Phillip K. Dick short story 'We Can Remember It for You Wholesale'). "Kindergarten Cop" (1990) was another comedy which reunited him with director Ivan Reitman who also directed him in "Twins".

Schwarzenegger had a brief foray into directing, first with a 1990 episode of the TV series "Tales from the Crypt", entitled 'The Switch', and then with the 1992 telemovie "Christmas in Connecticut." He has not directed since.

Schwarzenegger's critical and commercial high-water mark was the 1991 sequel to his 1984 hit "The Terminator", "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" which was one of the highest grossing films of the year and surpassed the original film's success. In 1993 the National Association of Theatre Owners named him the 'International Star of the Decade'. His next film project, the 1993 self-aware action comedy "Last Action Hero" had the misfortune to be released opposite "Jurassic Park", and suffered accordingly. Schwarzenegger's career never again achieved quite the same prominence, his aura of box-office invincibility suffering, although the action comedy "True Lies" in 1994 was a highly popular send-up of spy films, and saw Schwarzenegger reunited with director James Cameron, whose own career had taken off with "The Terminator."

Shortly thereafter came another comedy "Junior" in 1994, which reunited him once again with Ivan Reitman as well as Danny DeVito. This film also brought Schwarzenegger his second Golden Globe nomination, this time for Best Actor-Musical or Comedy. It was followed by the popular, albeit by-the-numbers action thriller "Eraser" in 1996, and the comic-book based "Batman & Robin" in 1997 where he played villain Mr Freeze. This was his final film before taking time to recuperate from a back injury. Following the failure of "Batman & Robin", Schwarzenegger's film career and box office prominence went into decline.

Several film projects were announced with Schwarzenegger attached to star including the remake of "Planet of the Apes", a new film version of "I Am Legend", and a World War II film scripted by Quentin Tarantino that would have seen Schwarzenegger finally play an Austrian.

Instead he returned after a hiatus with the supernatural thriller "End of Days" in 1999 - an unsuccessful and atypically dark attempt to broaden his acting range. Schwarzenegger later starred in the action films "The 6th Day" in 2000 and "Collateral Damage" in 2002, none of which came close to recapturing his former prominence. In 2003 he reprised his most famous role in "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" which was the long-awaited sequel to the 1991 film and went on to earn over $150 million domestically.

In tribute to Schwarzenegger in 2002, Forum Stadtpark, a local cultural association, proposed plans to build a 25-meter (82-foot) tall "Terminator" statue in a park in central Graz. Schwarzenegger reportedly said he was flattered, but thought the money would be better spent on social projects and the Special Olympics.

His latest film appearances included a cameo (3 second) appearance in "The Rundown" (aka 'Welcome to the Jungle') with The Rock and the 2004 remake of "Around the World in 80 Days", notable for featuring him on-screen with action star Jackie Chan for the first time.

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". However, it is currently widely reported that Schwarzenegger will have a brief role in "Terminator 4".

Schwarzenegger voiced Baron von Steuben in Episode 24 ('Valley Forge') of "Liberty's Kids".

Actor and comedian Robin Williams famously said: 'Arnold Schwarzenegger's acted in plenty of movies but spoken less dialogue than any actor, except maybe Lassie.'

Political career

Schwarzenegger has been a registered Republican for many years. As an actor, his political views were always well-known as they contrasted with those of many other prominent Hollywood stars, who are generally considered to be a liberal and Democratic-leaning community. At the 2004 Republican National Convention, Schwarzenegger gave a speech and explained why he was a 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 as chairman of 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. Yet, political analysists have identified Schwarzenegger as a liberal, as he has become more left-leaning since his election.

Between 1993 and 1994, Schwarzenegger was a Red Cross 'ambassador' (a mostly ceremonial role fulfilled by celebrities), recording several television/radio PSAs to give blood. A small amount of interest was garnered by his wearing of a white t-shirt with the Red Cross on it, while posing with a flexed arm; the image made it into several celebrity magazines.

In an interview with "Talk" magazine in late 1999, Schwarzenegger was asked if he thought of running for office, he replied: 'I think about it many times. The possibility is there, because I feel it inside.' "The Hollywood Reporter" claimed shortly after that Schwarzenegger sought to end speculation that he might run for governor of California. Following his initial comments, Schwarzenegger said: 'I'm in show business-I am in the middle of my career. Why would I go away from that and jump into something else?'

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" (yet another Schwarzenegger starrer) 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 Schwarzenegger, instead only making a flippant reference to the way Schwarzenegger pronounced California . As the election came near and Gray Davis realized that Schwarzenegger was a force to be reckoned with, he tried to change his policy, but Schwarzenegger had already become a strong candidate . Schwarzenegger declined to participate in several debates with other recall replacement candidates and appeared in only one debate on September 24, 2003 (... more) .

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 was the first foreign-born governor in California history since Ireland-born Governor John G. Downey in 1862.

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" sketch 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 immigrants, 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.

He has appeared alongside his fellow actor from "Around the World in 80 Days", Jackie Chan, in a government advertisement to combat copyright piracy.

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 Angelides, a margin of well over one million votes. The election further enhanced his political credentials.

It is rumored that Schwarzenegger might run for the United States Senate in 2010 (he will be term-limited then), if incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer retires.

It was reported in February 2007 that Schwarzenegger offered his most lavish praise yet for 2008 presidential candidate John McCain. He called McCain 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.

Wendy Leigh, who wrote an unofficial biography on Schwarzenegger, claims he plotted his political rise from an early age using the movie business and body-building as building blocks to escape a depressing home. Leigh portrays Schwarzenegger as obsessed with power and quotes him as saying: 'I wanted to be part of the small percentage of people who were leaders, not the large mass of followers. I think it is because I saw leaders use 100% of their potential-I was always fascinated by people in control of other people.' Schwarzenegger has said that it was never his intention to enter politics, but he says, 'I married into a political family. You get together with them and you hear about policy, about reaching out to help people. I was exposed to the idea of being a public servant and Eunice and Sargent Shriver became my heroes.' Eunice Kennedy Shriver was sister of John F. Kennedy, and mother-in-law to Schwarzenegger, Sargent Shriver was husband to Eunice and father-in-law to Schwarzenegger. According to the 2005 Year-In-Review issue of Time Magazine, citizens are hoping to amend the Constitution so he can run for President of the United States.

Schwarzenegger does not accept his governor's salary of $175,000 per year. Instead, he donates it to charities.

Personal life

In 1977, Schwarzenegger's autobiography/weight-training guide "Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder" was published and became a huge success. He earned a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, where he graduated Business and International Economics in 1979.

Schwarzenegger became a U.S. citizen in 1983, although he also retains his Austrian citizenship.

On April 26, 1986, Schwarzenegger married television journalist Maria Shriver, niece of the past President of the United States John F. Kennedy in Hyannis, Massachusetts. The Rev. John Baptist Riordan performed the ceremony at St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church.

The couple have four children:

Katherine Eunice Schwarzenegger, born December 13 1989 in Los Angeles, California (Her middle name, Eunice, is the first name of her maternal grandmother.)

Christina Maria Aurelia Schwarzenegger, born July 23 1991 in Los Angeles, California

Patrick Arnold Schwarzenegger, born September 18 1993 in Los Angeles, California (His middle name, Arnold, is the first name of his father. His first name, Patrick, is named after his great-grandfather Joseph Patrick Kennedy.)

Christopher Sargent Shriver Schwarzenegger born September 27 1997 in Los Angeles, California

Schwarzenegger and his family currently live in their 11,000-square-foot home in Brentwood. They used to own a home in the Pacific Palisades. The family owns vacation homes in Sun Valley, Idaho and Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. Schwarzenegger does not have a home in Sacramento. However, whenever he is in the state capitol, he lives in the Hyatt Regency hotel suite. The suite costs about $65,000 a year.

On Sundays, the family attends Mass at St. Monica's Catholic Church.

Schwarzenegger has said he believes the secret of a good marriage is love and respect. 'If you have the ultimate love for your wife and she has it for you, I think you have a great head start ... That's not to say it won't be difficult sometimes. You go through your ups and downs but you work through it.' Schwarzenegger has talked about parenthood in 2000: 'One of the best things you can do with your children is play with them. At the same time, I act very silly. Many times I do a lot of sports with them. I play games with them. Act out parts. We do little plays, sometimes.'

His official height of 6'2' has been brought into question by several articles. In 1988 both the "Daily Mail" and "Time Out" magazine mentioned that Schwarzenegger appeared noticeably shorter than this publicised figure. More recently, before running for Governor, Schwarzenegger's height was once again questioned in an article by the Chicago Reader. As Governor, Schwarzenegger engaged in a light-hearted exchange with Assemblyman Herb Wesson over their heights. At one point Wesson made an unsuccessful attempt to, in his own words, 'settle this once and for all and find out how tall he is.' by using a tailor's tape measure on the Governor. Schwarzenegger later retaliated by placing a pillow stitched with the words 'Need a lift?' on the five foot five Wesson's chair before a negotiating session in his office. His page remains one of the most active on, a website which discusses the heights of celebrities.

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".

Pilz claimed that Schwarzenegger's actions in support of the death penalty (prohibited in Austria under Protocol 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights) had indeed done damage to Austria's reputation. Schwarzenegger justified his actions by referring to the fact that his only duty as Governor of California was to prevent an error in the judicial system. 'Schwarzenegger has a lot of muscles, but apparently not much heart,' said Julien Dray, spokesman for the Socialist Party in France, where the death penalty was abolished in 1981.

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 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 Liebenau 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.

The Sun Valley Resort has a short ski trail called "Arnold's Run", named after Schwarzenegger. The trail is categorized as a black diamond, or most difficult, for its terrain.

He bought the first Hummer manufactured for civilian use in 1992, a model so large, 6,300 lb (2900 kg) and 7 feet (2.1 m) wide, that it is classified as a large truck and U.S. fuel economy regulations do not apply to it. During the Gubernatorial Recall campaign he announced that he would convert one of his Hummers to burn hydrogen. The conversion was reported to have cost about US$21,000. After the election, he signed an executive order to jump-start the building of hydrogen refueling plants called the 'California Hydrogen Highway Network', and gained a United States Department of Energy grant to help pay for its projected US$91,000,000 cost. California took delivery of the first H2H (Hydrogen Hummer) in October 2004.

People in Thal Bei Graz celebrated Schwarzenegger's 60th birthday by throwing a party. Officials proclaimed 'A Day for Arnold' on July 30 2007. Thal 145, the number of the house where Schwarzenegger was born, belonged to Schwarzengger and nobody will ever be assigned to that number.

Accidents and medical issues

Schwarzenegger broke his right femur while skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho with his family on December 23, 2006. He tripped over his ski pole on Lower Warm Springs run on Bald Mountain, an 'easy' or green level run. He is an expert level skier. On December 26, 2006, he underwent a 90-minute operation in which cables and screws were used to wire the broken bone back together. He was released from the Saint John's Health Center on December 30, 2006. Schwarzenegger did not delay his second oath of office on January 5, 2007, although he was still on crutches at the time.

Schwarzenegger has twice crashed motorcyles on public highways, injuring himself in the process. On January 8 2006, while riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle, with his son Patrick in the sidecar, another driver backed into the street he was riding on, causing him and his son to collide with the car at a low speed. While his son and the other driver were unharmed, the governor sustained a minor injury to his lip, forcing him to get 15 stitches. 'No citations were issued' said officer Jason Lee, a police spokesman. Schwarzenegger, who famously rode motorcycles in the "Terminator" movies, has never obtained an M-1 or M-2 endorsement on his California driver's license that would allow him to legally ride a motorcycle without a sidecar on the street. Previously, on December 9 2001, he broke six ribs and was hospitalized for four days after a motorcycle crash in Los Angeles.

Schwarzenegger opted in 1997 for a replacement heart valve made of his own transplanted tissue; medical experts predict he will require repeated heart valve replacement surgery in the next two to eight years as his current valve degrades. Schwarzenegger apparently opted against a mechanical valve, the only permanent solution available at the time of his surgery, because it would have sharply limited his physical activity and capacity to exercise.

He saved a drowning man's life in 2004 while on vacation in Hawaii by swimming out and bringing him back to shore.

Business career

It has been said Schwarzenegger has a 'business empire'. Following his move to the United States, Schwarzenegger became a 'prolific goal setter' and would write his objectives at the start of the year on index cards, like starting a mail order business or buying a new car-and succeed in doing so. 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 thanks to the pair's marketing savvy and an 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. In 1992, Schwarzenegger and his wife opened a restaurant in Santa Monica called "Schatzi On Main". "Schatzi" literally means 'little treasure', colloquial for 'honey' or 'darling' in German. In 1998, he sold his restaurant. He invested in a shopping mall in Columbus, Ohio. He has talked about some of those who have helped over the years in business: 'I couldn't have learned about business without a parade of teachers guiding me... from Milton Friedman to Donald Trump... and now, Les Wexner and Warren Buffett. I even learned a thing or two from Planet Hollywood, such as when to get out! And I did!' He has significant ownership in Dimensional Fund Advisors, an investment firm.

Planet Hollywood

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 early 2000. Schwarzenegger said the company had not had the success he had hoped for, claiming he wanted to focus his attention on 'new US global business ventures' and his movie career.

Net worth

Schwarzenegger's net worth has been conservatively estimated at USD $100-$200 million. 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. In June 1997 Schwarzenegger spent $38 million of his own money on a private Gulfstream Jet. Schwarzenegger once said of his fortune: 'Money doesn't make you happy. I now have $50 million, but I was just as happy when I had $48 million.' 'I've made millions as a businessman many times over'.

Allegations of sexual and personal misconduct

During his initial campaign for governor, allegations of sexual and personal misconduct were raised against Schwarzenegger (dubbed "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.

Three of the women claimed he had grabbed their breasts, a fourth said he placed his hand under her skirt on her buttock. A fifth woman claimed Schwarzenegger tried to take off her bathing suit in a hotel elevator, and the last says he pulled her onto his lap and asked her about a particular sex act.

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 joint after winning Mr. Olympia in the 1975 documentary film "Pumping Iron." In October 2007, Schwarzenegger defended his actions with the claim 'That (Cannabis) is not a drug. It's a leaf.'

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. A joint statement said: 'The parties are content to put this matter behind them and are pleased that this legal dispute has now been settled.' Richardson claimed they tried to tarnish her reputation by dismissing her allegations that Schwarzennegger touched her breast during a press event (for "The Sixth Day") in London. She claimed Walsh and Main libeled her in a Los Angeles Times article when they contended she encouraged his behavior.


Saunders, Dave, 2008: 'Arnie': Schwarzenegger and the Movies, London, I. B. Tauris





(Interview in "Oui" magazine, August 1977) at

(Excerpts from "Time Out" (London) interview, 1977) at

(Schwarzenegger Interview) on The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos


'Arnold Schwarzenegger-Hollywood Hero' DVD ~ Todd Baker

'Pumping Iron' (25th Anniversary Special Edition) DVD ~ George Butler

(Cinemovie.Info: Arnold Schwarzenegger)

External links


(2007 Inaugural Committee)

(State of California-Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger)

(Arnold Schwarzenegger's Official Website) (Non-Political)

(Arnold Schwarzenegger's Official Political Website)

(Citizens to Save California, a broad-based committee supporting the reform agendas of Governor Schwarzenegger and others)

(Arnold Schwarzenegger at the National Governors Assosiation)

Election websites

(Official VoteCircle Profile)


(Follow the Money-Arnold Schwarzenegger (Committee 1)) 2006 campaign contributions

(Follow the Money-Arnold Schwarzenegger (Committee 2)) 2006 campaign contributions

(National Governors Association-California Governor Arnold A. Schwarzenegger) biography

(On the Issues-Arnold Schwarzenegger) issue positions and quotes

(Project Vote Smart-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger) profile


(Arnold and the American dream) (BBC News)

(Arnold Schwarzenegger Bodybuilding Gallery) (Gallery of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Competitive Years)

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article about Arnold Schwarzenegger.