The world knows Arnold Schwarzenegger as a famous bodybuilder and a Hollywood action hero, but he is also a successful businessman, generous philanthropist and California's 38th Governor.
Since he took office, Governor Schwarzenegger's responsible fiscal policies have brought California back from the brink of bankruptcy, reinvigorating the economy, creating a better environment for business and creating more than 680,000 new jobs. Improved state revenues have paid down the state's debt and afforded record investments in schools, roads and affordable healthcare for children.
Governor Schwarzenegger's most notable accomplishments include a bipartisan agreement to reduce California's greenhouse gas emissions by signing landmark legislation in 2006, increasing the minimum wage while lowering the state's unemployment rate and overhauling the workers' compensation system - cutting costs by more than 35 percent. In addition, Governor Schwarzenegger is the first governor in decades to make major investments in improving California's aging infrastructure through his Strategic Growth Plan, helping to reduce congestion and clean the air. He established the Hydrogen Highway and Million Solar Roofs Plan, continuing his leadership in creating a greener environment.
As Governor, he has been California's most effective marketing tool, traveling across the country and around the world promoting California grown products, cutting edge technologies and the state's diverse travel destinations. In addition, using his background as an internationally recognized athlete, Governor Schwarzenegger has made restoring health and fitness a top priority. He signed legislation making the state's school nutrition standards the most progressive in the nation and continues to promote healthy habits.
This world-famous athlete and actor was born in Austria in 1947, and at 20 became the youngest person ever to win the Mr. Universe title. He came to America shortly after, winning an unprecedented 12 more world bodybuilding titles. Challenging both his body and mind, he earned a college degree from the University of Wisconsin and became a U.S. citizen in 1983. Three years later he married broadcast journalist Maria Shriver.
Governor Schwarzenegger's most gratifying accomplishments are rooted in public service - committing his time, energy and personal finances to charitable organizations around the world. He and Maria have remained closely involved in Special Olympics, an organization founded by Maria's mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. He was named Special Olympics International Weight Training Coach in 1979 and serves as a Global Ambassador.
Recognizing his passion for helping kids, former President George Bush appointed Governor Schwarzenegger Chair of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in 1990, where he traveled all 50 states and recognized the overwhelming need for more after-school alternatives. He also served as Chair of the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under Governor Pete Wilson.
Governor Schwarzenegger has committed himself to promoting physical education and after-school programs. In 2002, his support for Proposition 49, the After-School Education & Safety Act, led it to overwhelming victory. As Governor, he has aggressively worked to increase after-school funding, making California the first state in the nation to significantly invest in a comprehensive after-school program.
His many accomplishments have earned him the praise of numerous organizations, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center's "National Leadership Award" for his support of the organization's Holocaust studies. Schwarzenegger was the only actor to be in both categories of the American Film Institutes Hundred Years of Heroes and Villains. In 2002, Schwarzenegger was given the esteemed honor of the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award, presented to him by Ali, a longtime friend and sports mentor.
Governor Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver have four children - Katherine, Christina, Patrick and Christopher.