Arnold Schwarzenegger came to the governorship of California following a distinguished career in body building, business, and entertainment. Schwarzenegger was born in Austria and at 20 became the youngest person to win the Mr. Universe title. He won an unprecedented 12 more world bodybuilding titles. Schwarzenegger earned a college degree from the University of Wisconsin and became a U.S. citizen in 1983. Former President George H.W. Bush appointed him Chair of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in 1990. He also served as Chair of the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under California Governor Pete Wilson. He married Maria Shriver in 1986 and has remained closely involved in Special Olympics, an organization founded by her late mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver.
Schwarzenegger became the 38th Governor of California pursuant to a recall election to replace Governor Gray Davis. Schwarzenegger’s accomplishments as governor 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. Schwarzenegger made major investments in improving California’s aging infrastructure through his Strategic Growth Plan, helping to reduce congestion and clean the air.