Cigar Smoking Icons: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnold Schwarzenegger is, without a doubt, a cigar-smoking icon. Having graced the cover of Cigar Aficionado more times than any other cigar smoker, we can’t think of anyone currently living that is more well-known for smoking cigars!

To celebrate this cigar-smoking icon, we take a look at his life and how his love of Cuban cigars developed!


Early Life

Schwarzenegger was born in Austria in 1947 and grew up in a Catholic family in the village of Thal.

Throughout his childhood he played several sports, and at the age of 13, he began weight training. By 15 years old, he had started Olympic lifting, and at 17 he officially started his competitive career.


Bodybuilding Career

During the 1960s, Schwarzenegger began to participate in bodybuilding competitions. In 1965, he was voted “best-built man of Europe”, and his popularity in the bodybuilding world grew.

In 1967, he won the coveted Mr. Universe title, becoming the youngest ever to win the title, at the age of 20.

Schwarzenegger continued his training in America, following his move to California in 1968. At the age of 23, he won the Mr. Olympia title in New York, which he would win again a total of seven times!


Acting Career

Schwarzenegger wanted to move into the world of acting but struggled to do so due to his thick accent, height, body shape and name.

Luckily, his big break came with the film Conan the Barbarian in 1982, and he went on to star in a number of incredibly successful action movies including The Terminator (1984), Commando (1985), Predator (1987) and Red Heat (1988).

After this, he turned to more comedic roles, such as Twins (1988), Kindergarten Cop (1990) and the Christmas classic, Jingle All the Way (1996).


Political Career

Schwarzenegger has been a long time member of the Republican party. His first political appointment was as the Chairman of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, a position he held from 1990 to 1993.

In 2003, Schwarzenegger was elected Governor of California, a position he held until 2011.


Arnold Schwarzenegger and Cigars

Dubbed ‘Cigar Smoker of the Year’ by Cigar Aficionado in 2014, there is no doubt that Arnold is a cigar-smoking icon! Attributed as being the inspiration for the cigar habit of many of Hollywood’s finest, Schwarzenegger’s love of cigars is certainly infectious.

Schwarzenegger first smoked small cigars during the early days of his bodybuilding career, when other competitors offered him smokes.

However, his true passion for cigars did not develop until 1977, when he visited the family home of his partner Maria Shriver, where he was offered a cigar by her father.

Arnold is now a true cigar connoisseur and smokes one to two cigars each day. His favourite cigar brands are Punch and Cohiba. He has Cohiba cigars flown in for him when he is filming and is said to enjoy a Punch Punch cigar after dinner.

Arnold’s love for cigars has even made its way into his movies, with him seen smoking a stogie on screen in films such as Predator (1987).

Watch Arnold here as he explains how you should smoke a cigar – and the things you should absolutely avoid!


Feature Image Credit: Gage Skidmore via CC BY-SA 2.0

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