Schwarzenegger was born in Thal, Austria, a town bordering the Styrian capital, Graz, and christened Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger. His parents were the local police chief Gustav Schwarzenegger (1907-1972), and his wife, the former Aurelia Jadrny (1922-1998), who had been married on October 20, 1945, when he was 38 and she was 23 and widowed.
Schwarzenegger first gained fame as a bodybuilder. One of the first competitions he won was Junior Mr. Europe. He would go on to compete in and win many bodybuilding (as well as some powerlifting) contests, including 4 NABBA Mr. Universe wins and 7 Mr. Olympia wins, a record which would remain until Lee Haney won his eighth straight Mr. Olympia title in 1991.
In 1986, Schwarzenegger married TV journalist Maria Shriver, niece of the late President of the United States John F. Kennedy. The couple have four children: daughters Katherine (born December 13, 1989) and Christina (b. July 23, 1991), and sons Patrick (b.September 18, 1993) and Christopher (b. September 27, 1997).
In 1967 Schwarzenegger won the Munich stone lifting contest in which a stone weighing 508 German pounds, approximately 560 English pounds, is lifted between the legs while standing on two foot rests. Arnold broke the existing record, winning the contest. Schwarzenegger's goal was to become the greatest bodybuilder in the world, which meant becoming Mr. Olympia. His first attempt was in 1969 where he lost to three-time champion Sergio Oliva.