Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American actor, Republican elected official, bodybuilder, and entrepreneur, at present serving as the 38th Governor of California. Called the Austrian Oak in his bodybuilding years, and lately The Governator and Conan the Republican, or just Ahhnold, Schwarzenegger as a young man got widespread interest as a successful bodybuilder, and afterward achieved international renown as a Hollywood action movie superstar.
There cannot be a better illustration of the self-made man than Arnold Schwarzenegger in all of Hollywood history. Born on July 30, 1947 to Gustav and Aurelia Schwarzenegger in the remote Austrian community of Thal, down by the Italian border, he was exposed to severe discipline from an early age. It worked.
Arnold became disenchanted with soccer at age 15, and describes a sense of "power" when looking at bodybuilders, a mental picture that moved him to start weight training. In 1965 he won the Mr. Europe Jr. title.
As long as I live, I will never forget that day 21 years ago when I raised my hand and took the Oath of Citizenship. Do you know how proud I was? I was so proud that I walked around with an American flag around my shoulders all day long.
Schwarzenegger went to university in Munich from 1966, studying marketing. In 1968, after winning the Pro Mr. Universe title at age 20, he decamped to America at the invitation of bodybuilding champion Joe Weilder, and sustained a career unmatched in its success, adding Mr. World to his list of titles.
He won the Mr. Universe title five times and Mr. Olympia seven times, at the same time making the sport of bodybuilding more popular. And, as if this weren't enough, this socially liberal Republican wedded a Democrat from the Kennedy family, Maria Shriver, a past news anchor and now mother of their four children. Arnold Schwarzenegger's career reads like the American Dream, a dream that is realized day by day by many individuals that come to the United States to create a new life.
After some small parts in the movies, he appeared in the documentary Pumping Iron (1977) and played a bodybuilder in the film Stay Hungry (1976), and his innate charm led to more movies and recognition. He starred in the hit movie Conan the Barbarian in 1982 and became a movie star. He had another big hit in 1984, starring in James Cameron's The Terminator. 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day was even more successful than the first movie, and Schwarzenegger became one of the highest paid actors in show business.
The movie-star-turned California Governor disclosed in a TV interview that as a young bodybuilder he used experimental steroids on doctors' advice, and he called for a youth ban. Asked on the ABC News program if he had regrets about using steroids, he responded: "No, I have no regrets about it, because at that time, it was something new that came on the market, and we went to the doctor and did it under doctor's supervision."
And now, of course this is another thing I didn't count on, that now as the Governor of the State of California, I am selling California worldwide. You see that? Selling.
On August 6, 2003, the audience attending the Tonight Show received a direct view of a remarkable, jaw-dropping event: the declaration of candidacy for the California governorship by ex- bodybuilder and film idol Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Judging from Schwarzenegger's ideological resume, he and Ronald Reagan, another actor who ran for governor of California with very little electoral experience, have little in common. When Schwarzenegger ran for governor in 2003, the State of California was running a $38 billion deficit. Despite being a political novice, Schwarzenegger was confident that he could handle it.
A year and a half later, Schwarzenegger has proven that the various legislators and pundits who, not capable of moving away from a cliché-ridden dismissal of a bodybuilder-movie-star-turned-governor, had underrated his raw intelligence and sharp mind. Those who know Schwarzenegger can bear out his complexity. The governor spurred himself with the quest for championship when he was young and a comparative nobody. Now he wants to become a champion governor.
Schwarzenegger has shown himself to be a skilful politician, to the surprise of a lot of Californians. The fact that he has exploited this talent to a moderate agenda, and embraced bipartisanship in a way that sets him, as a Republican, far apart from the Bush Administration, as well as from the more extreme elements in the California Republican Party, is vital to his effectiveness.
On the downside, in early January, Schwarzenegger proposed to radically curtail spending on education and social services in place of taxing the wealthy in his boldly immoderate State of the State Speech, blindsiding freethinking Californians with his openly Republican program. According to Peter Byrne of the Village News, the new governor, who had promised to kick the "special interest" out of Sacramento, has collected $26 million from individuals and companies caught up in high finance, real estate, insurance, construction, energy sales, prison corporations and major news media.
Schwarzenegger for president in 2008? California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher recently made a proposal to permit anybody who's been a US citizen for more than 20 years to run for the nation's highest office. Schwarzenegger, who became a citizen in 1983, has said he supports amending the Constitution so foreign-born citizens can run for president. Rohrabacher said his true aim is to open up the presidential process, though he said in an interview that Schwarzenneger is doing a great job as governor.