Once called "the most perfectly developed man in the history of the world," by the Guinness Book of World Records, body builder, movie star, and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947-) was born on this day in the remote village of Thal, Austria, the second son of a police officer.
"Someday the world is going to know who I am--just be hearing my first name," he once said. With positive determination, he overcame poverty and transformed his scrawny 14 year-old body into a champion body builder, winning the Mr. Universe title five times and Mr. Olympia seven times.
Very popular in Hawaii, Schwarzenegger helped bring bodybuilding to the Islands by establishing the Mr. Hawaiian Islands contest, acting as emcee before he became internationally famous.
"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength," he believed.
Conan the Barbarian (1982) turned Arnold into an international film superstar. His name alone brought moviegoers to the movies. "Sure I got treated like a male Raquel Welch," he explained. "I love it." In The Terminator (1984), he ruled the box office by using a mere 17 lines of dialog, exactly 65 words, including the three classic ones: "I'll be back."
A moderate Republican married to the Democratic Kennedy clan's Maria Shriver, Schwarzenegger bounced back from heart valve surgery in 1997 and keeps going strong. The movie star earned $26.1 million in 2001 and $31.1 million in 2000.
Elected governor of California in 2003, at one time there was even talk of amending the U.S. Constitution so the foreign-born Schwarzenegger could run for President. He once said confidently, "I set out to be the best... and I am."
Be confident, be positive, and work hard.