Before there was the Terminator and the Governator, there was the Austrian Oak. These are just a few of the nicknames Arnold Schwarzenegger has picked up over the years. He has had quite the versatile career, from bodybuilding and acting, to business and politics. Everyone knows the Austrian native, and he continues to please fans despite personal ups and downs.
Arnold was born in Austria, where he dreamed of living in the United States as a young boy. Realizing he had talent in weight-lifting, he focused on becoming a bodybuilder. When Arnold was 18 years old, he served in the Austrian army and also won a Junior Mr. Europe title. In his early 20s, the aspiring bodybuilder made it to Los Angeles where he trained at Gold’s Gym. His quick rise to fame as well as seven-time title of Mr. Olympia caught the attention of Hollywood. Arnold’s first movie was 1970’s Hercules in New York, but his the role of a lifetime wouldn’t come until 1984’s The Terminator.
Arnold’s acting career peaked in the late 1980s and 1990s. At the turn of the millennium, he shifted his focus to politics. He would go on to serve as the Governor of California between 2003 and 2011. His reputation took a hit when previous extramarital affairs were discovered, including fathering a son with a former housekeeper.
Prior to and during his term as governor, Schwarzenegger was involved with the Special Olympics, an organization founded by Maria Shriver's mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. He was named Special Olympics International Weight Training Coach in 1979 and then a Global Ambassador. President George Bush appointed Schwarzenegger as Chair of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in 1990, which he served on until 1993. He also served as Chair of the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under Governor Pete Wilson.
Charles "Wag" Bennett, one of the judges at the 1966 competition, was impressed with Schwarzenegger and he offered to coach him. As Schwarzenegger had little money, Bennett invited him to stay in his crowded family home above one of his two gyms in Forest Gate, London . Yorton's leg definition had been judged superior, and Schwarzenegger, under a training program devised by Bennett, concentrated on improving the muscle definition and power in his legs. Staying in the East End of London helped Schwarzenegger improve his rudimentary grasp of the English language.   Living with the Bennetts also changed him as a person: "Being with them made me so much more sophisticated. When you're the age I was then, you're always looking for approval, for love, for attention and also for guidance. At the time, I wasn't really aware of that. But now, looking back, I see that the Bennett family fulfilled all those needs. Especially my need to be the best in the world. To be recognized and to feel unique and special. They saw that I needed that care and attention and love.”