Legwatch 2013-14


Arnold Schwarzenegger Governor, Republican


Arnold Schwarzenegger

Term limit: 2006



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Arnold Schwarzenegger biography:
Through hard work, fierce competitiveness and an unmatched desire to succeed, Arnold Schwarzenegger embodies the American dream.

Coming to America at the age of 21 with $20 in his pocket, Arnold's determination allowed him to reach one goal after another: reigning over the world of bodybuilding, being a successful businessman, rocketing to the top of the movie charts as an action-hero, and, perhaps most importantly to Arnold, helping children through the Special Olympics, his Inner City Games Foundation, and leading the campaign to pass California's Proposition 49 to increase funding for after-school programs.

Born in Graz, Austria, Arnold took up weight lifting at the age of 15. Merely 20 years old, he surprised the weight lifting world by capturing the title of "Mr. Universe." He would go on to lift thirteen championship titles, including Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia and Mr. World.

Working as a brick-layer to earn a living, Arnold came to understand the world of business and decided to become an entrepreneur. Attaining a business degree from a campus of the University of Wisconsin, Arnold moved into the real estate market buying property in Santa Monica, California near where he trained. It was the beginning of a successful real estate and business career.

But business and real estate were not the only career path he wanted to take. Arnold wanted to become part of the movies.

In 1970, he landed a small role in a film titled "Hercules in New York." But it would be the critically acclaimed 1977 film "Pumping Iron" that really captured his engaging, natural presence in front of the camera. The feature-length documentary about the "Mr. Olympia" competitions would ironically allow him to put his own "Mr. Universe" moniker aside and pursue acting full-time.

Arnold's first big success as a movie actor came as the title roll in 1982's "Conan the Barbarian." He would go on to become a big box office star and action-hero in such movies as "The Terminator," "Predator," "Total Recall," and "True Lies."

Arnold also pleased audiences with comedic abilities in such hits as "Twins" and "Kindergarten Cop."

But for all the hype surrounding his career in bodybuilding and in Hollywood, Arnold's most gratifying accomplishments are much more steeped in reality. He has made countless contributions of his time and energy, not to mention his personal finances, to philanthropic organizations around the world. He was named the International Weight Training Coach of the Special Olympics in 1979, and serves as a Global Ambassador to the organization founded by his mother-in-law, Eunice Shriver, in 1967. He was appointed Chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under the George H. W. Bush Administration from 1990 to 1993, and also served as the Chairman for the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under Governor Pete Wilson.

In 1991, Arnold began a term as Executive Commissioner of the Hollenbeck Youth Center Inner-City Games in Los Angeles. He believed strongly that educating kids, giving them opportunities, encouraging them to set and reach goals, helping them to become winners and offering a sense of pride and accomplishment was the only way to break the cycle of poverty, despair and untimely death for kids in our inner-cities.

Four years later, in collaboration with Hollenbeck's Director Danny Hernandez, Arnold established the National Inner-City Games Foundation and serves as its' National Chairman. Arnold wanted to create alternatives for kids to violence, drugs and gangs during the critical hours after school, on weekends and during the summer. What started as summer athletic competition became so successful that ICG now provides year-round opportunities for under-privileged children to participate in educational, cultural and community enrichment programs as well as computer and sports activities. ICG offers competitions and clinics around the country, building confidence and self esteem as well as encouraging the youth of America to say "no" to gangs, drugs and violence while saying "yes" to hope, learning and life.

From humble origins in Los Angeles, the foundation now stretches to fifteen cities around the nation reaching over 250,000 kids in over 400 schools. Arnold does not merely lend his name to the Foundation but gets involved traveling the country meeting with local officials, educators, administrators and kids to ensure the programs' continued growth and success.

The latest project of the Inner-City Games Foundation is Arnold's All-Stars - an organization dedicated to providing specially designed after-school programs offering academic, recreational and cultural enrichment programs for every middle school in the state of California to help young people improve in school and in life.

In addition, Arnold authored and backed an after-school initiative - the After School Education and Safety Act of 2002 (Proposition 49), which was recently passed in the 2002 California election. As the initiative's sponsor, author and Chairman, Arnold designed the program to make state grants available to every public middle school in California to create quality after school programs for its kids.

Arnold's efforts have certainly not gone unnoticed over the years. Just some of the many acknowledgments he has received include the National Association of Theater Owners' "International Star of the Decade." In both 1991 and 1997, he was lauded with the Simon Wiesenthal Center's "National Leadership Award" for his support of the organization's Holocaust studies. He was also the recipient of the ShoWest "Humanitarian of the Year Award" in 1997. In 2000 he was recognized by Boys and Girls Town with the "Father Flanagan Service to Youth Award" for his efforts with ICG and Special Olympics and received the AFMA's top honor as World Wide Box Office Champ.

In 2002 he was given the esteemed honor of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award, presented to him by Ali, a longtime friend and sports mentor. He was also recently honored with the Caritas Award for "Spirit of Charity" from St. Johns Hospital with his wife Maria Shriver and with the "Sport For Good Award" at the Laureus World Sports Awards.

His alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, presented him with the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 1996. Imadec University in Vienna bestowed an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration for his "Life Achievements" in 2001 and in 2002. Chapman University in Orange County, California presented him with a Doctorate of Humane Letters for his work with Special Olympics as well as Inner City Games.

From his early days as "Mr. Universe" to a well-respected patron of the arts to reigning box office champion he expects the best from himself and inspires the best in others. All the while Arnold puts his family first - as husband of seventeen years to broadcast journalist Maria Shriver and father to their four children Katherine, Christina, Patrick and Christopher. For a more complete bio visit Arnold's original entertainment site.

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