“Petty Cash”: Arnold Schwarzenegger Refused to Accept His $187,000 Salary as Governor of California and Used It for a Noble Cause

Published 08/27/2022, 10:45 AM EDT

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The seven-time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger started his bodybuilding journey at the age of 14. After establishing his dominance in the same, the muscle man hopped into acting. Arnold mostly did action films with his frequent collaborator, James Cameron. The star once again switched his career in 2003 and entered the political world.  

Arnold Schwarzenegger did not accept a single penny from his salary as the governor. Instead, the bodybuilder used it for a noble cause and set an example for the world. 


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Arnold Schwarzenegger and his charity works

Born in Austria, Arnold Schwarzenegger started his career from the ground level. Owning every milestone he hit, the actor made a place in his fans’ hearts. Arnold is regarded as a legendary figure, given his expertise in everything he did up till now. 

Working under the state, that too as a governor might sound fancy, but the pay scale varies widely. Among all the governors, Arnold’s salary was the highest. Initially, he would have earned $187,000, and later, the rise in numbers would add up to become $206,500.


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The former bodybuilder took a unique step by rejecting his salary as governor, as he called it ‘petty cash’. Arnold has always contributed to the betterment of society by donating huge sums to charities. Even during the Covid-19 pandemic, when the whole world was crashing down, the actor donated $1 million to coronavirus assistance fund for front-end employees.

Schwarzenegger was the 38th Governor of California and served the state for seven years. During his reign, he took measures to solve issues like greenhouse gases, minimum wages, and lowering taxes, among others. 

Arnold’s acting career with film-maker James Cameron

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s relationship with the legendary producer and director James Cameron was beyond just an actor-producer relationship. They have always treasured their friendship.


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Arnold’s acting career got the recognition during its nascent stage after starring in the blockbuster, Terminator. It catapulted the Austria-born bodybuilder to immediate fame and the rest, as they say, is history. Their friendship is uncommon in the entertainment industry and is certainly inspirational for his fans.


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What do you think about Schwarzenegger’s term as the Governor of California?

Watch This Story: Here’s everything you want to know about the $206,500 salary of legend Arnold Schwarzenegger


Written by:

Rimjhim Dey


One take at a time

Rimjhim Dey is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology and is also a biology aficionado. Interested in it since childhood, Rimjhim believes her passion for writing runs through her veins.
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Edited by:

Rohini Kottu