Today in History: Arnold Schwarzenegger becomes California governor
On this day in 2003, actor and bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected to be the governor of California. While there was a lot of criticism surrounding Schwarzenegger's experience and eligibility, he ended up coming out on top in the 11-week campaign.
He was one of 135 candidates on the ballot, which included a list of politicians, other actors, and one adult-film star. The native Austrian began bodybuilding as a teen, and he boasted four "Mr. Universe" bodybuilding championships by the young age of 20.
Schwarzenegger then moved to the United States in 1968 where he worked on a B.A. at the University of Wisconsin, and graduated in 1979.
Things completely took off for him from there. In 1983, he became a U.S. citizen, and the following year he made 'The Terminator', which came to be known as his most famous film.
His campaign quickly went under fire after he decided to feature his one-liners that are well-known from his movie career. Still, he was able to parlay his celebrity into a win, appealing to weary California voters with talk of reform. He beat his closest challenger, the Democratic lieutenant governor Cruz Bustamante, by more than 1 million votes.