…for being born (1947) in the small village of Thal near Graz, Austria, has done pretty well for himself. Here you have a young man from a small village in Austria, with a heavy Austrian accent, a background in bodybuilding and movies, who then becomes a two term Governor of California – only in America.
Today, he’s readily identified with the phrase “I’ll Be Back”, which comes from his role as the cyborg Terminator in three of his box office science fiction hits. His is truly a story of someone whose journey in life has taken him from “rags to riches”. I’m sure all driven by an iron will, determination and perhaps a bit of luck.
As a boy, Schwarzenegger played many sports, but discovered his passion for bodybuilding when in his mid-teens his soccer coach took the team for weight training, which implanted his passion for body building. In 1965, at 18 and while still in the Austria army serving the mandatory one-year service requirement, he entered his first body building competition. By the time he was 20 Arnold Schwarzenegger had become Mr. Universe, which he won five times (5) and was named Mr. Olympia seven (7) times. To say he dominated the sport is an understatement.
With an eye on his goals in life, in 1968 he moved to the United States and with the same drive and determination, entered into several businesses and joint ventures to become a millionaire by the age of 22. Even during that period he always had his eyes on acting, one of his goals in life, and an interest, I’m sure he honed as a top contender in a sport he dominated for many years.
Following in the foot steps of his hero athletic greats such as Johnny Weissmuller (Swimming and Tarzan) Schwarzenegger started his movie career in 1970 with the role as Hercules in the movie Hercules in New York - not the most memorable movie or performance. His film career began to take off with Conan the Barbarian in 1982, and then was cemented with the first Terminator movie in 1984. Through the early 1990s, the Arnold Schwarzenegger had a great run in the film industry, with a number of very successful films such as Total Recall, Predator and the Terminator series. In films like Twins and Kindergarten Cop, Schwarzenegger showed his comedic side. In total Arnold Schwarzenegger movies totaled 28, plus a couple non-mentionables at the outset of his career.
On a more personal note, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1979 with a major in international marketing and business administration, became a US citizen in 1983 and in 1986 married Maria Schriver, of the Kennedy clan, whom he had met at a tennis tournament. BTW, that was another one of his goals – Marry a Kennedy and today he and Maria have four children. More recently, as we know, he’s served out his second term as the “Governator” of California. Not bad for a kid from a small village in Austria, from a working class family, a very strong accent and a now famous movie line – “I’ll Be Back”.