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Jesse Ventura

Pro Wrestler / State Governor / TV Personality

Born: 15 July 1951
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Best known as:

Former professional wrestler and governor of Minnesota

Name at birth: James George Janos

 

Jesse Ventura is the former professional wrestler who served as the governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003. A former Navy Seal, he wrestled professionally from 1975 to 1984, usually playing a villain and using the name Jesse "The Body" Ventura. He then became an occasional movie actor and a radio personality before running for governor of Minnesota on the Reform Party ticket in 1998. 6'4" tall, muscular and bald, Ventura carried his wrestling image as a blunt-talking tough guy into the political arena and became a national political figure as well as pop culture celebrity. While governor of Minnesota he published I Ain't Got Time to Bleed and Do I Stand Alone? (both 2000), opinion pieces with a populist core. He chose not to run for re-election in 2002, and was succeeded the next year by Republican Tim Pawlenty. Ventura had a short-lived talk show on MSNBC in 2003 (Jesse Ventura's America), he published Don't Start the Revolution Without Me! in 2008 and in late 2009 made his debut as the host of Conspiracy Theory on TruTV.

Extra credit:

Jesse Ventura made his feature film debut in the 1987 action movie Predator, which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger... The Reform Party was founded in 1992 by another political outsider, Ross Perot; in 2000, while governor, Ventura left the Reform Party and joined the Independence Party of Minnesota... Ventura made waves in 2001 when he agreed to be a TV commentator for the XFL football league while still serving as governor.

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