Schwarzenegger’s journey to stardom is incredible. He started off as a bodybuilder and made history as the youngest person to become Mr Universe, aged 20. He went on to win other four Mr Universe titles and seven Mr Olympia titles. He always desired to be an actor, and he made his debut in Hercules in New York in 1970, followed by an appearance in the Happy Anniversary and Goodbye. However, he gained popularity when he played Joe Santo in the film Stay Hungry, which earned him a Golden Globe Award. Subsequent appearances in Conan the Barbarian and Terminator gave him even more recognition.
As an active Republican since the 1990s, he contested and was elected as the governor of California in 2003. During his first term, he pushed numerous restrictive measures, which made him unpopular among the organised labour division. He was, nonetheless, re-elected in 2006. His stint as a governor had some major highlights, especially his legislative victories on crucial issues on the environment. He advocated for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in California. However, his tenure had a significant drawback; a massive budget deficit that soared to $26 billion in 2009. Efforts to curb this fiscal crisis, which included salary cuts and service reductions, were unsuccessful. His approval ratings thus dropped drastically.
Away from acting and politics, Schwarzenegger’s generosity cannot go unnoticed. Most of his gratifying moments are in public service, where he has dedicated time, energy and money to help charitable organisations around the globe. He has particularly had a keen interest in the Special Olympics, in which he served as a training coach, and is currently its Global Ambassador. In 1990, President Bush recognised his passion for helping kids and thus appointed him as the Chair of Physical Fitness and Sports in the California Governor’s Council. He is also a recipient of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award.