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Arnold   Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Actor, Businessman & Former Governor of California

Biography

The world first knew Arnold Schwarzenegger as a famous bodybuilder and a Hollywood action hero, then and as California's 38th Governor, an environmental crusader, a successful businessman and a generous philanthropist. Read More >

Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most recognized individuals on the planet, having led an amazing life and achieving beyond his dreams in Hollywood, fitness, and public service. This world-famous athlete, actor and politician was born in Thal, Austria in 1947. By the age of 20, Schwarzenegger was dominating the sport of competitive bodybuilding, becoming the youngest person ever to win the Mr. Universe title. By generating a new international audience for bodybuilding, Schwarzenegger turned himself into a sports icon. With his sights set on Hollywood, he immigrated to America in 1968, and went on to win five Mr. Universe titles and seven Mr. Olympia titles before retiring to dedicate himself to acting.

Schwarzenegger, who worked under the pseudonym Arnold Strong in his first feature, Hercules in New York, quickly made a name for himself in Hollywood. In 1977, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association recognized him with a Golden Globe for New Male Star of the Year for his role in Stay Hungry opposite Sally Field. His big break came in 1982 when the sword and sorcery epic, Conan the Barbarian, hit box office gold. In 1984, Schwarzenegger blew up the screen and catapulted himself into cinema history as the title character in James Cameron’s sci-fi thriller, Terminator. He is the only actor to be in both categories of the American Film Institute’s Hundred Years of Heroes and Villains for roles he played in the film. To date his films have grossed over $3 billion worldwide.

One of the major accomplishments Schwarzenegger achieved as Governor was the establishment of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 - a bipartisan agreement to combat global warming by reducing California's greenhouse gas emissions. His Strategic Growth Plan aimed to reduce congestion and clean the air; the Hydrogen Highway by Executive Order supported the transition to a clean hydrogen transportation economy; the Million Solar Roofs Initiative had the goal of bringing 3,000 megawatts of clean energy online by 2017; and the Safe, Clean and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act was passed in 2010.

Other successes include leading the reform to make California competitive for up to $700 million in federal Race to the Top funds, which ensures that all California's students have access to the world-class education they need to thrive. He signed legislation making the state's school nutrition standards the most progressive in the nation and also, his support for the After-School Education & Safety Act in 2002, has made California the first state to significantly invest in a comprehensive after-school program.

He received the Simon Wiesenthal Center's "National Leadership Award" for his support of the organization’s Holocaust studies. In 2002, Schwarzenegger was awarded the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award.

As a businessman, his first investment was in a brick laying business. He followed this with a mail-order bodybuilding equipment company and invested in real estate, becoming a millionaire before he started his acting career. He was a founding investor in the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

An Evening with Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a global icon; a mammoth of public life, sports, and entertainment. An immigrant with few resources, except those that really mattered: a vision, a fire in the belly, and huge charisma, his story is one of classic inspiration and the American dream. Gov. Schwarzenegger shares the four principles that have underpinned his success: have a vision and trust it; break the rules; don't be afraid to fail; and work hard - there are no shortcuts.

Will Innovation & Green Technologies Save the Global Economy?

From his experience in American politics to his efforts combating climate change, Gov. Schwarzenegger incarnates openness to change and the boldness of innovative solutions. His legacy is a California that is a world leader in renewable energy innovation, technology development and deployment. Gov. Schwarzenegger discusses the need to shift the debate on energy from a singular focus on carbon emission reduction, and instead urgently develop an American energy strategy. He identifies security and the U.S.'s overreliance on foreign oil; the need to address pollution more generally; and the importance of energy productivity, green jobs and technological innovation as the primary objectives of such a strategy.

Connect with Arnold Schwarzenegger