Monday, July 30, 2007

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger (German pronunciation (IPA): (born July 30, 1947) is an Austrian-American bodybuilder, actor, and politician, currently serving as the 38th Governor of the U.S. state of California.
As a young man, Schwarzenegger gained widespread attention as a highly successful
bodybuilder. He later gained worldwide fame as a Hollywood action film icon. Perhaps his most famous role is in the The Terminator series.
Schwarzenegger was nicknamed "The Austrian Oak" in his body-building days, "Arnie" during his acting career, and more recently "The Governator" (a
portmanteau of Governor and Terminator, referring to his internationally popular film role).Schwarzenegger is a Republican, and was first elected on October 7, 2003, in a special recall election to replace then-Governor Gray Davis. Schwarzenegger was sworn in on November 17, 2003, to serve the remainder of Davis' term. Schwarzenegger was then reelected on November 7, 2006, in California's 2006 gubernatorial election to serve a full term as governor by defeating Democrat Phil Angelides, who was California State Treasurer at the time. Schwarzenegger was sworn in for a second term on January 5, 2007. In May 2007, he was named as one of the Time 100 people who help shape the world.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was born in Thal, Austria, a city bordering the Styrian capital Graz, and was christened Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger.His parents were the local police chief Gustav Schwarzenegger (1907–1972), and his wife, the former Aurelia Jadrny (1922–1998). They were married on October 20, 1945—Gustav was 38, and Aurelia was a 23-year-old widow with a son named Meinhard. According to Schwarzenegger, both of his parents were "very strict". "Back then in Austria it was a very different world—" he says, "if we did something bad or we disobeyed our parents, the rod was not sparred [sic]." It was a Roman Catholic family who attended Church every Sunday.Gustav, who was frequently drunk,signed up for the Nazi party after the 1938 Anschluss. Still, after the war, in 1947, Gustav was allowed to work as a police officer as there was no evidence he had committed war crimes. He had a preference for Meinhard, the elder of the two sons. Gustav’s favouritism was “strong and blatant”, which stemmed from unfounded suspicion “that Arnold wasn’t his child.” Schwarzenegger has said his father had “no patience for listening or understanding your problems…there was a wall; a real wall.”[Schwarzenegger had a good relationship with his mother and kept in touch with her until her death. Schwarzenegger has reportedly disavowed Nazi views. In later life, Schwarzenegger commissioned the Simon Wiesenthal Centre to research his father's wartime record, which came up with no evidence of atrocities. At school, Schwarzenegger was apparently "in the middle" but stood out for his "cheerful, good-humoured and exuberant" character. Money was a problem in the household; Schwarzenegger has recalled that one of the highlights of his youth was when the family bought a refrigerator.
As a boy, Schwarzenegger played many sports—heavily influenced by his father. He picked up his first "
barbell" in 1960 when his soccer coach took his team to a local gym.At the age of 15 Schwarzenegger chose body-building over a career as a soccer player.Schwarzenegger has responded to a question asking if he was age 13 when he started weight-lifting: "I actually started weight training when I was fifteen but I'd been participating in sports, like soccer, for years so I felt that although I was slim, I was well-developed, at least enough so that I could start going to the gym and start Olympic lifting."However, his official website biography claims: "At 14, he started an intensive training program with Kurt Marnul, studied psychology at 15 (to learn more about the power of mind over body) and at 17, officially started his competitive career." During a speech in 2001 he said: "My own plan formed when I was 14 years old. My father had wanted me to be a police officer like he was. My mother wanted me to go to trade school."Schwarzenegger took to visiting a gym in Graz, where he also frequented the local cinemas to see bodybuilding idols such as Reg Park, Steve Reeves, and Johnny Weissmuller on the big screen. "I was inspired by individuals like Reg Park and Steve Reeves."When Reeves passed away in 2000, Schwarzenegger fondly remembered him: " As a teenager, I grew up with Steve Reeves. His remarkable accomplishments allowed me a sense of what was possible when others around me didn't always understand my dreams ... Steve Reeves has been part of everything I've ever been fortunate enough to achieve."[16] In 1961 Schwarzenegger met former Mr. Austria Kurt Marnul who invited him to train at the gym in Graz.[4] He was so dedicated as a youngster that he was known to break into the local gym on weekends, when it was usually closed, so that he could train. "It would make me sick to miss a workout … I knew I couldn't look at myself in the mirror the next morning if I didn't do it."[5] Schwarzenegger was asked about his first movie experience as a boy, he replied: "I was very young, but I remember my father taking me to the Austrian theaters and seeing some newsreels. The first real movie I saw, that I distinctly remember, was a John Wayne movie."[5]
In 1971, his brother Meinhard died in a car accident.
[4] Meinhard had been drinking and was killed instantly, Schwarzenegger did not attend his funeral.[7] He was due to marry Erika Knapp and the couple shared a three-year-old son Patrick, Schwarzenegger would pay for Patrick's education and a life in America.[7] Gustav died the following year from a stroke.[4] In Pumping Iron, Schwarzenegger claimed that he did not attend his father's funeral because he was training for a bodybuilding contest. Later, he and the film's producer both stated that this story was taken from another bodybuilder for the purpose of showing the extremes that some would go to for their sport, and to make Schwarzenegger's image more cold and machine-like to fan controversy for the film.[17] Barbara Baker, his first serious girlfriend has said he informed her of his father's death without emotion and never spoke of his brother.[18] Over time, he has given at least three versions of why he did not attend his father's funeral.[7]
In a candid interview with
Fortune Magazine in 2004, Schwarzenegger told how he suffered what "would now be called child abuse" at the hands of his father. "My hair was pulled. I was hit with belts. So was the kid next door. It was just the way it was. Many of the children I've seen were broken by their parents, which was the German-Austrian mentality. They didn't want to create an individual. It was all about conforming. I was one who did not conform and whose will could not be broken. Therefore I became a rebel. Every time I got hit, and every time someone said, 'you can't do this,' I said, 'this is not going to be for much longer, because I'm going to move out of here. I want to be rich. I want to be somebody'.

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