Arnold Schwarzenegger was born July 30, 1947. He was born in Austria, four miles from Graz in the little town of Thal. His last name “Schwarzenegger” interestingly means "Black Plowman". Arnold is the son of Gustav and Aurelia Schwarzenegger. Arnold had an older brother named Meinhard who was just a single year older than him. Arnold and his brother were always very competitive with one another both athletically and academically. Unfortunately Meinhard died in a car accident when he was in his 20's.
Arnold was first introduced to weight-lifting when he was on a field trip for his soccer team. The soccer team visited a local gym in Graz, Austria. After observing the dedication that the bodybuilders possessed, Arnold became captivated. However, his father was in fact disappointed in Arnold’s love for bodybuilding because it was the least popular sport in Austria. In 1961 Arnold was introduced to Kurt Marnul, the former Mr. Austria. Marnul was very impressed with Arnold’s charisma for bodybuilding and asked him if he wanted to train with him in the Union in Graz. Arnold began training seven days a week. He could not get enough of the gym. The entire atmosphere astounded him. He became so obsessed with bodybuilding that he broke into the gym on Sundays to train because the gym was closed. In addition to training Arnold began a three-year apprenticeship as a carpenter.
In 1965 when Arnold turned eighteen he joined the Austrian Army for mandatory service. His parents hoped the time Arnold spent in the army would rid him of his bodybuilding obsession. However, to much of his parents dissatisfaction, Arnold was far from losing his obsession with bodybuilding. While in basic training for the military, Arnold was informed that the Junior Mr. Europe competition was going to be held in a nearby town. Arnold dropped out of the army to compete in this competition. Incredibly, Arnold won the competition with a perfect 300 point score. He was the first competitor to ever have a perfect score.
In 1966, Arnold was invited to move to Munich to train at the Putzingger Gym. In September of that same year, he took second place in the Mr. Universe competition held in London. A year later, Arnold won his first Amateur Mr. Universe title and became the youngest competitor to ever do so. Unfortunately in 1971 Arnold's father died of a stroke. His father missed out on the success his son was soon to achieve. Shortly after his fathers death in 1972 Arnold won his first Mr. Universe title and was invited by American bodybuilding champion, Joe Weider, to train in America. It was a tough decision, but Arnold finally decided to move to America.
Immediately after arriving in the United States, Arnold starred in his first film, “Hercules in New York.” Arnold continued bodybuilding and competed in the Mr. Olympia competitions. After successfully winning six Mr. Olympia titles and a Mr. World title, Arnold retired from bodybuilding in 1975. In 1976 Arnold starred in his second movie, "Stay Hungry." In 1980 Arnold was actually challenged by popular bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno to compete in the 1980 Mr. Olympia competition. Arnold accepted the challenge and stunned everyone by capturing his seventh Mr. Olympia title. Arnold starred as Conan in the popular film, "Conan the Barbarian." He has made numerous blockbuster films since then.
Arnold met Maria Shriver at a New York tennis tournament in 1977. Soon after they met, they began dating. Arnold proposing to her in a rowboat on Lake Tollersee, in Austria, and they were married in 1986. Maria and Arnold have four children together, Katherine, Christina, Patrick, and Christopher.
In 1989 when George Bush was President he served as chairman of the Presidents Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Arnold now chairs the Governor's Council of Physical Fitness in the state of California. Since 1979, Arnold has served as the International Weight training coach for the Special Olympics. Beginning in 1991 he became involved in the Executive Commission on the Los Angeles Inner City Games, a small version of the Olympics designed to help kids say "no" to drugs and violence and "yes" to fitness as a way of life. Arnold helps the children to see athletics as a positive alternative to drugs, and a great way to build self-esteem. Arnold presently is chairman of the Inner City Games Foundation, a program that has expanded up to ten cities and is continuing to grow to this day.
While in Graz, Austria, visiting friends and family, Arnold had the great honor of opening the "Arnold Schwarzenegger Stadium." A stadium named after the famous Austrian that serves as a tribute to Arnold and all of his hard work. Arnold’s fans can to do this day visit the stadium and admire all of Arnold’s accomplishments.