Governors in the United States of America do not receive a large salary by any means.  However, one governor has managed to establish a large net worth, not from his role as governor, but from various other roles throughout his life.  In his 50 years in sports, entertainment, and politics, Arnold Schwarzenegger has amassed a large fortune.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is now 71 years old and is worth an estimated $400 million.  It is hard to believe that that figure is accurate based solely on his greatest legacy, The Terminator movie.  For his leading role in the movie, he made only $75,000.  The movie itself, however, made more than $100 million worldwide, adjusted for inflation at the current time.

During his early years, Schwarzenegger made money in different ways.  Schwarzenegger had a very quiet and humble beginning.  He was born in Austria where his father worked as the Chief of Police in his village of Thal.  As a youngster, he hit the gym religiously and by the age of 18, he won the Junior Mr. Europe Contest. At the young age of 20, he was certified as Mr. Universe, the highest accolade a bodybuilder can receive.

When Schwarzenegger first came to America in 1968, he had just $27,000 to his name.  He set his sights on accomplishing the American Dream, but he did not go about it the way one might expect.

In a recent interview with author Tim Ferriss, Arnold talked about his early financial success.

“I didn’t rely on my movie career to make a living,”

“That was my intention, because I saw over the years, the people that worked out in the gym and that I met in the acting classes, they were all very vulnerable because they didn’t have any money, and they had to take anything that was offered to them because that was their living. I didn’t want to get into that situation.”

Within his first year in the United States, he made more than $1 million in real estate investments.  “Buildings that I would buy for $500K within the year were $800K and I put only maybe $100K down, so you made 300% on your money.

“I quickly developed and traded up my buildings and bought more apartment buildings and office buildings on Main Street down in Santa Monica and so on. … I became a millionaire from my real estate investments.”

Soon thereafter, he began to land key roles in various movies.  His first breakthrough came in 1970 with Hercules in New York.  He gained more fame when he starred in the 1977 documentary, Pumping Iron, and solidified his reputation as a Hollywood Legend in 1984, when The Terminator  was originally released.

Luckily for Schwarzenegger, the Terminator movies were greeted with widespread applause and success. In turn, the franchise created two more movies, with the most recent released in 2003.  While he did not receive a large salary from the first movie, his leading role in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines netted him more than $30 million, effectively making up for his lack of compensation from the first movie.  Doing the math, Mr. Universe made more than $4,000 per second of screen time; thus, he made more in one minute of the third movie than he did for the entire first movie.

In the upcoming years, his wealth is likely to continue to grow.  Although he has not been featured in any large roles recently, he has plans to come back for a few more films.  The movie Twins was met with widespread applause when it was released, and as a result, he will be participating in the sequel, rightly named Triplets, which will also feature Danny Devito and Eddie Murphy.  In more recent news, Schwarzenegger revealed he is currently in the pross of filming a Terminator revival which is set for release in late 2019.

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