Schwarzenegger, Arnold Alois

Schwarzenegger, Arnold Alois, 1947–, Austrian-American actor, bodybuilder, and politician, b. Thal, Austria. He began competing in bodybuilding contests in his teens, and won his first of five Mr. Universe titles in 1967. He achieved public recognition for bodybuilding as a sport, and his quest in 1975 for his sixth of seven Mr. Olympia titles was chronicled in the documentary Pumping Iron (1977). He went on to become a Hollywood action star in such films as Conan the Barbarian (1982), The Terminator (1984) and its sequels, and True Lies (1994). His other movies include Predator (1987), Total Recall (1990), and such later and less successful films as Collateral Damage (2002) and Escape Plan (2013). He married Maria Shriver (daughter of Sargent Shriver) in 1987 (they separated in 2011), and was chairman (1990–92) of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under President George H. W. Bush.

An increasingly politically active Republican during the 1990s, Schwarzenegger ran for the California governorship and won when Gray Davis was recalled in 2003. Initially popularly, Schwarzenegger suffered setbacks in 2005 when voters rejected several ballot measures he supported that would have place limits on the power and influence of the legislature and public employee unions. Subsequently, however, he adopted a less partisan approach, cooperating with the Democratic legislature on a minimum-wage hike and controls on greenhouse gas pollution, but his last years before he retired (2010) were marked by state financial difficulties due to recession.

See his autobiography (with P. Petre, 2012), biography by L. Leamer (2005).

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