Arnold Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American actor, filmmaker, businessman, investor, author, philanthropist, activist, politician, and former professional bodybuilder and powerlifter. He served two terms as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 to 2011.
Schwarzenegger began lifting weights at the age of 15. He won the Mr. Universe title at age 20 and went on to win the Mr. Olympia contest seven times, remaining a prominent presence in bodybuilding and writing many books and articles on the sport. The Arnold Sports Festival, considered one of the best professional bodybuilding competitions in recent years, is named after him. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest bodybuilders of all-time as well as that sport’s most charismatic ambassador.
Schwarzenegger gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film icon. His breakthrough film was the sword-and-sorcery epic Conan the Barbarian in 1982, a box-office hit that resulted in a sequel. In 1984, he appeared in the title role of James Cameron’s critically and commercially successful science-fiction thriller film The Terminator. He subsequently reprised the Terminator character in most of the franchise’s later installments, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and Terminator Genisys. He has appeared in a number of other successful films, such as Commando, The Running Man, Predator, Twins, Total Recall, Kindergarten Cop, and True Lies.
As a Republican, Schwarzenegger was first elected on October 7, 2003, in a special recall election to replace then-Governor Gray Davis. He was sworn in on November 17, to serve the remainder of Davis’ term. He was then re-elected in the 2006 California gubernatorial election, to serve a full term as governor. In 2011, he completed his second term as governor and returned to acting. Schwarzenegger was nicknamed the Austrian Oak in his bodybuilding days, Arnie during his acting career, and The Governator during his political career.
Schwarzenegger married Maria Shriver, a niece of the 35th U.S. President John F. Kennedy and daughter of the 1972 Democratic vice presidential candidate and former Ambassador to France Sargent Shriver, in 1986. They separated in 2011 after he admitted to having fathered a child with another woman in 1997.
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