Arnold Schwarzenegger is a complex, sometimes scandal-ridden, yet inspiring man. He is known as an Austrian-American actor, producer, author, investor, businessman, activist/philanthropist, and former professional bodybuilder and politician. Bodybuilding, competitions and his writing about the sport, made him a worldwide bodybuilding icon. Hollywood action films added to his worldwide fame. His fame helped propel him to the office of Governor of California from 2003 until 2011. He has since been involved in acting, business, writing, fitness, and politics among other ventures.
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger was born in 1947 in Thal, Styria, Austria. He had an older brother. His parents were strict and he had a good relationship with his mother, but not his father. They attended Catholic Mass every Sunday. Arnold was an average student and played several sports. In his early teenage years he began lifting weights and chose bodybuilding as a career. Trainers saw his potential and took roles in his training.
Arnold did his required service in the Austrian Army in 1965. He actually went AWOL (and later served time in military prison) to compete in Junior Mr. Europe. He won the competition. This led to more bodybuilding competition wins, including seven Mr. Olympia wins and four Mr. Universe wins.
In 1968, his bodybuilding career led to Arnold moving to the United States. In 1977, his bodybuilding guide/autobiography was published, Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder. He wanted to become an actor and got a role in 1970’s Hercules of New York.
More movie roles led to his Golden Globe for New Male Star of the Year for 1976’s Stay Hungry. Additional roles on television and film followed. He became an action superstar after appearing in Conan the Barbarian in 1982. More action roles and comedies have followed as well. He took a break from acting while serving as Governor of California. He has been in dozens of films and in 2015 it was announced that he would serve as the host of Celebrity Apprentice.
Arnold became a millionaire from business ventures before his acting career. In 1968, he started a bricklaying business with a partner. Success with this led to a mail order business selling fitness-related products. Investment in restaurants and other ventures were, also, successful for Arnold.
Arnold married Maria Shiver in 1986. They had four children together. Arnold had a son resulting from an affair in 1997. He has financially supported this son. Arnold and Maria separated in 2011.
Arnold has written for several publications and published several books of his own. He is known for his environmental work and has been involved with the Special Olympics for many years. In 1995, he founded Inner City Games Foundation to provide cultural, educational, and community enrichment programs to youth. Arnold believes that quality school opportunities should be available to all children. He founded a Los Angeles branch of After-School All-Stars in 2002 to educate children on health, fitness, and nutrition. He is, also, known as a supporter of Isreal.
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