Actor, Bodybuilder, Governor, Environmental Activist (1947–Present)
Arnold Schwarzenegger is a world famous actor, bodybuilder, politician and environmental activist. Schwarzenegger was nicknamed “the Austrian Oak” as a bodybuilder, “Arnie” during his acting days and “The Governator” during his time in office.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s glittering career began when he started weight training at 14 and won the coveted Mr Universe and Mr Olympia bodybuilding contests. Most consider him the best bodybuilder of all time.
“The Mr Universe title was my ticket to America – the land of opportunity, where I could become a star and get rich.”
And what a star he became. Mr Universe went on to become the biggest movie star in the world in the 1980s and 1990s. Arnie played leading roles in many hit action films during these decades. He got his first big brake in the sword and sorcery epic Conan the Barbarian in 1982. His acting career then exploded after he played the title character in Jim Cameron’s 1984 sci-fi masterpiece The Terminator. He then reprised his role in the massively popular Terminator 2 in 1991, as well as Terminator 3 (2003) and Terminator Genisys (2015).
During the peak of his acting career, he also starred in Commando (1985), The Running Man (1987), The Predator (1987), Twins (1988), Total Recall (1990), Kindergarten Cop (1990) and True Lies (1994).
Schwarzenegger is a Republican and became governor of California on 7th October 2003. He was re-elected to serve a second term on 7th November 2006.
The Austrian Oak got into politics because he married into a political family. Arnold married Maria Shriver, whose mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, was the sister of the late John F. Kennedy. “I was exposed to the idea of being a public servant and Eunice and Sargent Shriver became my heroes.”
Speaking of how he became a Republican, Schwarzenegger said: “But then I heard Nixon speak. He was talking about free enterprise, getting the government off your back, lowering the taxes and strengthening the military. Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air. I said to my friend, I said, ‘What party is he?’ My friend said, ‘He’s a Republican.’ I said, ‘Then I am a Republican.’ And I have been a Republican ever since.”
Schwarzenegger makes our famous economists page, however, because he uses his political power to fight global warming. He is, by all accounts, an applied economist. For instance, on 27th September 2006, Schwarzenegger signed the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. This was the nation’s first cap on greenhouse gas emissions and set regulations over the amount of emissions that utilities, refineries and manufacturing plants are allowed to release into the atmosphere.
Moreover, Schwarzenegger signed another executive order on 17th October 2006, which allowed the Californian state to work alongside the Northeast’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Resultantly, a tradable carbon permit scheme was set up where a limited amount of carbon credits were issued to power plants in participating states. Any power plant that exceeds its emissions must purchase more credits.
Arnie won the 2007 European Voice campaigner award for his efforts in the battle against climate change. Furthermore, in 2011, he founded the R20 Regions of Climate Action to develop a sustainable and low carbon economy. He also practises what he preaches and has taken steps to reduce his carbon footprint by, for example, adapting one of his Humvees to run on hydrogen and the other to run on biofuels.
Lastly, it seems Arnie is, subconsciously, governed by an economist’s thinking process. When speaking about his personal wealth, he gives a perfect example of the diminishing marginal utility of money: “Money doesn’t make you happy. I now have $50 million but I was just as happy when I had $48 million.”
“I’ll be back.”
“Hasta la vista, baby!”
“If it bleeds, we can kill it.”
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
“For me life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist, to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger