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Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947- )
California's Austrian Governor

Schwarzenegger book For a policeman's son born in a tiny village near Graz, Austria, Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger has done pretty well for himself. On August 6, 2003 he announced his candidacy in California's recall election on NBC's "Jay Leno Show." On the night of October 7 the Austrian-American actor made his victory speech in Los Angeles, introduced by Jay Leno. Although Gray Davis had made fun of Arnold's Austrian accent during the race, Schwarzenegger managed to turn the contest into a two-man race between him and Davis, and to prove that the political scene in California is a horse of a different color (zu Deutsch: Da pfeifft es aus einem anderen Loch).

New! Photos of Schwarzenegger's
Boyhood Home in Austria

Immediately after Schwarzenegger's announcement we were inundated with movie-title puns such as Total Recall and Governator, but in the end, Arnold proved the joke was on Gray Davis. To cast a little more light on the main figure in this amazing election, here is a brief biography with some related links on the topic of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a political figure, and even some related German vocabulary.


  • 1947 - Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is born on July 30 in the hamlet of Thal bei Graz, about 10 km (6 mi) from Graz, the capital of Styria (die Steiermark).
  • 1947 - Arnold is the second son of Aurelia Jadrny Schwarzenegger and policeman Gustav Schwarzenegger (Gendarmerie-Kommandant).
  • 1962 - Arnold begins serious bodybuilding training at a gym in Graz.
  • 1965 - Arnold joins the Austrian army as a tank driver, but continues his bodybuilding.
  • 1966 - Arnold leaves Thal for good and wins Mr. Europe title as a bodybuilder in Munich.
  • 1967 - Becomes Mr. Universe (a title he won five times)
  • 1968 - Arnold goes to America.
  • 1970 - Wins title of Mr. World; becomes Mr. Olympia, a title he will hold each year until 1975
  • 1971 - Arnold's older brother Meinhard is killed in an auto accident. Meinhard's son now lives and works in Los Angeles.
  • 1972 - Gustav Schwarzenegger dies in Weiz, Styria, where he had been transferred as a police official. Arnold does not attend his father's funeral.
  • 1977 - Meets TV journalist Maria Shriver, a member of the Kennedy clan, at a tennis tournament; wins his 7th Mr. Olympia title
  • 1979 - Earns a business B.A. from the University of Wisconsin
  • 1984 - Becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen on Sept. 16
  • 1984 - The first Terminator film puts Schwarzenegger firmly into the "superstar" category.
  • 1986 - Schwarzenegger and Maria Schriver marry on August 26. They currently have four children: Katherine, Christina, Patrick, and Christopher.
  • 1987 - Gets his own star on Hollywood's "Walk of Fame"
  • 1990 - Named chairman of President George Bush's Council on Physical Fitness. In following years Schwarzenegger will be active in promoting the Special Olympics and as a prominent figure in Republican politics at the state and national level.
  • Continued...

NEXT > Part 2 - Timeline, Films, Vocabulary, Links

Schwarzenegger Photos
Views of Thal, Schwarzenegger's boyhood home in Austria.

Schwarzenegger Sign Text
Arnold's bio according to a sign in his Austrian hometown of Thal bei Graz-in German and English.

Related Pages

Schwarzenegger Isn't the First
He may be California's first Austrian governor, but Arnold's not the state's first foreign one. Other U.S. states have also had foreign-born governors, including German-speaking ones!

Wer bin ich?
Our German biographical guessing game for other famous Austrians and Germans.

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