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Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (German ; born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor, businessman, and politician, currently serving as the 38th Governor of the state of California.

Schwarzenegger gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film icon. He was nicknamed "The Austrian Oak" and "The Styrian Oak" in his bodybuilding days, "Arnold Strong" and "Arnie" during his acting career, and more recently "The Governator" (a portmanteau of Governor and The Terminator, one of his film roles).

As a Republican, he 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's term. Schwarzenegger was then re-elected on November 7, 2006, in California's 2006 gubernatorial election, to serve a full term as governor, 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 2004 and 2007, he was named as one of the Time 100 people who help shape the world.

Schwarzenegger is married to Maria Shriver and has four children.

Early life

Schwarzenegger was born in Thal, Austria (German: Thal bei Graz), a small village bordering the Styrian capital Graz, and was christened Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger. His parents were the local police chief Gustav Schwarzenegger (1907 – 1972), and his wife, 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, if we did something bad or we disobeyed our parents, the rod was not spared." He grew up in a Roman Catholic family who attended church service every Sunday.

Gustav had a preference for Meinhard, the elder of the two sons. His favoritism 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. 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 football coach took his team to a local gym. At the age of 14, Schwarzenegger chose bodybuilding over football (soccer) as a career. Schwarzenegger has responded to a question asking if he was age 13 when he started weightlifting: "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 movie theaters 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." When 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. Meinhard 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 the United States. 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 that he 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 at the time of all 18-year-old Austrian males. He won the Junior Mr. Europe contest in 1965. Schwarzenegger went AWOL during basic training so that he could take part 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). He was voted best built man of Europe, which made him famous.

"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 Chester Yorton.

Charles "Wag" Bennett, one of the judges at the 1966 competition, was impressed with Schwarzenegger and offered to coach him. As Schwarzenegger had little money, Bennett invited him to stay in his crowded family home above one of his two gyms in Forest Gate. Yorton's leg definition had been judged superior, and Schwarzenegger, under a training program devised by Bennett, concentrated on improving the muscle definition and power in his legs. Staying in the East End of London helped Schwarzenegger improve his rudimentary grasp of the English language. The training paid off and in 1967 Schwarzenegger won the title for the first time in 1967, becoming the youngest ever Mr. Universe at the age of 20. He would go on to win the title a further four times. Schwarzenegger then flew back to Munich, training for four to six hours daily, attending business school and working in a health club (Rolf Putzinger's gym where he worked and trained from 1966-1968), returning in 1968 to London to win his next Mr. Universe title. He frequently told Roger C. Field, a friend in Munich at that time "I'm going to become the greatest actor!"

Move to the U.S.

Schwarzenegger moved to the United States in September 1968 at the age of 21, speaking little English. "Naturally, when I came to this country, my accent 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 Joe Weider. From 1970 to 1974, one of Schwarzenegger's weight training partners was Ric Drasin, a 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, at 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 lived 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 have 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's 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 an ultimatum.

Schwarzenegger has said his big dream from the age of 10 was to move to the U.S. 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 because of 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 contests, 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.

Strongman

In 1967, Schwarzenegger competed in and won the Munich stone-lifting contest, in which a stone weighing 508 German pounds (254 kg/560 lbs.) is lifted between the legs while standing on two foot rests. 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."

In a full squat (buttocks close to ground) Schwarzenegger had a personal record of 181 kg/400lbs, for twelve repetitions.

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, when he lost to three-time champion Sergio Oliva. However, Schwarzenegger came back in 1970 and won the competition making him the youngest ever Mr. Olympia at the age of 23, a record he holds to this day.

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 Franco Columbu. After the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest, Schwarzenegger announced his retirement from professional bodybuilding.

Months before the 1975 Mr. Olympia contest, filmmakers 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. Lou 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, however, to compete in the 1980 Mr. Olympia. Schwarzenegger was training for his role in Conan, and 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 a secret, in the event that a training accident would prevent his entry and cause him to lose 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 seven weeks of preparation. After being declared Mr. Olympia for a seventh time, Schwarzenegger officially retired from competition.

Steroid use

Schwarzenegger has admitted to using performance-enhancing anabolic steroids while they were legal, writing in 1967 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." He 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 DM20,000 ($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 aortic valve has three leaflets). Both his father and his brother had the same condition.

Acting career

Schwarzenegger wanted to move from bodybuilding into acting, finally achieving it when he was chosen to play the role of Hercules in 1970's Hercules in New York. Credited under the name "Arnold Strong," his accent in the film was so thick that his lines were 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 New Male Star of the Year. 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 attention and boosted his profile in the bodybuilding film Pumping Iron (1977), elements of which were dramatized. In 1991, Schwarzenegger purchased the rights to the film, its outtakes, and associated still photography. Schwarzenegger auditioned for the title role of The Incredible Hulk, but did not win the role due to his height. Later, Lou Ferrigno got the part of Dr. David Banner's alter ego. Schwarzenegger 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, although its performance was disappointing. In 1983, Schwarzenegger starred in the promotional video "Carnival in Rio".

In 1984, he made the first of three appearances as the titular character in director James Cameron's science-fiction film The Terminator. Following The Terminator, Schwarzenegger made Red Sonja in 1985, which "sank without a trace."

During the 1980s, audiences had a large appetite for action films, with both Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone becoming international stars. Schwarzenegger's roles reflected his droll, often self-deprecating sense of humor (including sometimes famously bad puns), separating his roles from more serious action hero fare. His alternative-universe comedy/thriller Last Action Hero featured a poster of the movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day which, in the fictional alternate universe, had Sylvester Stallone as its star.

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 appeared in The Running Man and Batman & Robin with Schwarzenegger) and future Kentucky Gubernatorial candidate Sonny Landham.

Twins (1988), a comedy with Danny DeVito, was a change of pace, and also proved successful. Total Recall (1990) netted Schwarzenegger $10 million and 15% of the gross, and was a widely praised, science-fiction script directed by Paul Verhoeven, based on the Philip K. Dick short story, "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale". Kindergarten Cop (1990) reunited him with director Ivan Reitman, who 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 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. 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 spoof Last Action Hero was released opposite Jurassic Park, with the box office suffering accordingly. His next film, the action comedy True Lies (1994) was a highly popular send-up of spy films, and saw Schwarzenegger, reunited with The Terminator director James Cameron, appearing opposite Jamie Lee Curtis.

Shortly thereafter came the comedy Junior (1994), directed by Twins director Ivan Reitman and again playing opposite co-star Danny DeVito. This film brought Schwarzenegger his second Golden Globe nomination, this time for Best Actor Musical or Comedy|Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. It was followed by the action thriller Eraser (1996), and the comic book-based Batman & Robin (1997), where he played the 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 play an Austrian.

Instead, he returned after a hiatus with the supernatural thriller End of Days (1999), later followed by the action films The 6th Day (2000) and Collateral Damage (2002). In 2003, he reprised his role in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, which 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 3-second cameo appearance in The Rundown (AKA, Welcome to the Jungle) with The Rock, and the 2004 remake of Around the World in 80 Days, where he appeared onscreen with action star Jackie Chan for the first time.

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

Political career

Early politics

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:

I finally arrived here in 1968. What a special day it was. I remember I arrived here with empty pockets but full of dreams, full of determination, full of desire. The presidential campaign was in full swing. I remember watching the Nixon-Humphrey presidential race on TV. A friend of mine who spoke German and English translated for me. I heard Humphrey saying things that sounded like socialism, which I had just left.

But then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military. Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air. I said to my friend, I said, "What party is he?" My friend said, "He's a Republican." I said, "Then I am a Republican." And I have been a Republican ever since.

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.

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 analysts 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 public service announcements 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?"

Governor of California

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 immediately became 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 one of his films), and calling the recall election "Total Recall" (yet another Schwarzenegger starrer). Schwarzenegger declined to participate in several debates with other recall replacement candidates, and appeared in only one debate on September 24, 2003.

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 of California 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. Building on a catchphrase 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").

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 went against the advice of fellow Republican strategists and appointed a Democrat, Susan Kennedy, as his Chief of Staff. Schwarzenegger gradually moved towards a more politically moderate position, 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 infringement.

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.

Wendy Leigh, who wrote an unofficial biography on Schwarzenegger, claims he plotted his political rise from an early age using the movie business and bodybuilding 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 is husband to Eunice and father-in-law to Schwarzenegger. According to the 2005 Year-in-Review issue of Time magazine, supporters of Schwarzenegger are hoping to amend the Constitution so that he can run for President of the United States. Indeed, in The Simpsons Movie, Schwarzenegger is portrayed as the President and in the Sylvester Stallone movie Demolition Man, it is revealed there was an amendment to the constitution that allowed him to become President.

Schwarzenegger is a dual Austria/United States citizen. He holds Austrian citizenship by birth and has held U.S. citizenship since becoming naturalized in 1983. Being Austrian and thus European he was able to win the 2007 European Voice campaigner of the year award for taking action against climate change with the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 and plans to introduce an emissions trading scheme with other US states and possibly with the EU.

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

Schwarzenegger's endorsement in the Republican primary of the 2008 U.S. Presidential election was highly sought; despite being good friends with candidates Rudy Giuliani and Senator John McCain, Schwarzenegger remained neutral throughout 2007 and early 2008. Giuliani dropped out of the Presidential race on January 30, 2008, largely because of a poor showing in Florida, and endorsed McCain. Later that night, Schwarzenegger was in the audience at a Republican debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. The following day, he endorsed McCain, joking, "It's Rudy's fault!" (in reference to his friendships with both candidates and that he could not make up his mind). Schwarzenegger's endorsement was thought to be a boost for Senator McCain's campaign; both spoke about their environmental concerns and concerns for the economy.

Amendment of Three Strikes Law

Governor Schwarzenegger played a significant role in opposing Proposition 66, a proposed amendment of the Californian Three Strikes Law, in November 2004. This amendment would have required the third felony to be either violent and/or serious in order to mandate a 25-years-to-life sentence. In the last week before the ballot, governor Arnold Schwarzenegger launched an intensive campaign against Proposition 66. He stated that "it would release 26,000 dangerous criminals and rapists".

Electoral history

Environmental record

On September 27, 2006 Schwarzenegger signed a bill creating the nation’s first cap on greenhouse gas emissions. The law set new regulations on the amount of emissions utilities, refineries and manufacturing plants are allowed to release into the atmosphere. Schwarzenegger also signed a second global warming bill that prohibits large utilities and corporations in California from making long-term contracts with suppliers who do not meet the state’s greenhouse gas emission standards. The two bills are part of a plan to reduce California’s emissions by 25 percent to 1990’s levels by 2020. In 2005, Schwarzenegger issued an executive order calling to reduce greenhouse gases to 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Schwarzenegger signed another executive order on October 17, 2006 allowing California to work with the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. They plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by issuing a limited amount of carbon credits to each power plant in participating states. Any power plants that exceed emissions for the amount of carbon credits they have will have to purchase more credits to cover the difference. The plan is set to be in effect in 2009. In addition to using his political power to fight global warming, the governor has taken steps at his home to reduce his personal carbon footprint. Schwarzenegger has adapted one of his Hummers to run on hydrogen and another to run on biofuels. He has also installed solar panels to heat his home.

Personal life

In 1977, Schwarzenegger's autobiography/weight-training guide Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder was published and became a huge success. After taking English classes at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California, he earned a B.A., from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, where he graduated Business and International Economics, in 1979.

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. They have four children: Katherine Eunice Shriver Schwarzenegger (born December 13, 1989 in Los Angeles, California); Christina Maria Aurelia Schwarzenegger (born July 23, 1991 in Los Angeles, California); Patrick Arnold Schwarzenegger (born September 18, 1993 in Los Angeles, California); and Christopher Sargent Shriver Schwarzenegger (born September 27, 1997 in Los Angeles, California)

Schwarzenegger and his family currently live in their 11,000-square-foot (1 022 m²) 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" (188 cm) has been brought into question by several articles. In his bodybuilding days in the late 1960s, he was measured to be 6'1.5", a height confirmed by his fellow bodybuilders. 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 (165 cm) Wesson’s chair before a negotiating session in his office. The debate on Schwarzenegger's height has spawned a website solely dedicated to it, and his page remains one of the most active on CelebHeights.com, a website which discusses the heights of celebrities.

In 2005, Peter Pilz, from the Austrian Green Party, demanded that parliament 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 explained his actions by referring to the fact that his only duty as Governor of California was to prevent an error in the judicial system.

In honor of its most famous son, Schwarzenegger's home town of Graz had its soccer stadium named The Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium. It is the home of both Grazer AK and Sturm Graz. Following the Stanley Williams execution and after street protests in his hometown, 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. It is now officially titled UPC-Arena.

The Sun Valley Resort has a short ski trail called Arnold's Run, named after Schwarzenegger (It was named after him in 2001). 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 U.S. 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 Schwarzenegger 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 St. 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 motorcycles on public highways, injuring himself in the process. On January 8, 2006, while riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle in Los Angeles, 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 Los Angeles Police Department 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 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

Arnold Schwarzenegger has also had a highly successful business career. 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 him 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 $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 U.S. and worldwide, so his fortune is sometimes estimated as high as $800 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 many 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 using substances like marijuana. Schwarzenegger is shown smoking a marijuana joint after winning Mr. Olympia in the 1975 documentary film Pumping Iron. In an interview with GQ magazine in October 2007, Schwarzenegger said, "[Marijuana] is not a drug. It's a leaf. My drug was pumping iron, trust me." His spokesperson later said the comment was meant to be a joke.

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 read: "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 Schwarzenegger 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.

See also

References

Bibliography

  • Schwarzenegger, Arnold (1977). Arnold: Developing a Mr. Universe Physique. Schwarzenegger.
  • with Douglas Kent Hall (1977). Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-22879-X.
  • with Bill Dobbins (1981). Arnold's Bodybuilding for Men. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-25613-0.
  • with Bill Dobbins (1998). The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding. rev. ed., New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-684-84374-9.
  • Andrews, Nigel (2003). True Myths: The Life and Times of Arnold Schwarzenegger: From Pumping Iron to Governor of California. rev. ed., New York: Bloomsbury. ISBN 1-58234-465-5.
  • Blitz, Michael; and Louise Krasniewicz (2004). Why Arnold Matters: The Rise of a Cultural Icon. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-03752-6.
  • Borowitz, Andy (2004). Governor Arnold: A Photodiary of His First 100 Days in Office. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-6266-2.
  • Brandon, Karen (2004). Arnold Schwarzenegger. San Diego: Lucent Books. ISBN 1-59018-539-0.
  • Saunders, Dave (2008). "Arnie": Schwarzenegger and the Movies. London: I. B. Tauris.
  • Sexton, Colleen A. (2005). Arnold Schwarzenegger. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications. ISBN 0-8225-1634-9.
  • Zannos, Susan (2000). Arnold Schwarzenegger. Childs, Md.: Mitchell Lane. ISBN 1-883845-95-5.

Interviews

Film

  • "Arnold Schwarzenegger Hollywood Hero" DVD ~ Todd Baker
  • "Pumping Iron" (25th Anniversary Special Edition) DVD ~ George Butler

External links

Official

Election websites

Nonpartisan

Unofficial

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