There’s no question that Arnold Schwarzenegger is a big man. He escaped a painful childhood by immersing himself in the world of bodybuilding. His impressive results made him an international star and eventually launched him into a career as an action star. When people picture him, they generally think of muscles — and lots of them.
Schwarzenegger claims to be fairly tall, and most people assume that’s true, given his muscular size. But not everyone thinks his measurement is accurate. Just how tall Schwarzenegger actually stands is a question people have been asking for decades.
How tall does Arnold Schwarzenegger say he is?
Schwarzenegger’s well-known history as an impressive bodybuilder makes most people automatically assume that he must tower over ordinary men. And according to Chicago Reader, he agrees. On his personal website, his height is listed as 6’2″ tall.
Naturally, people accept Schwarzenegger as the authority on himself. That claim about his height has been taken and repeated on many outlets online, including Body Building Universe, Celeb Guru, and Muscle Memory. As is often the case with online information, it’s been restated so many times that it’s widely accepted as fact.
The problem is that it might not be true.
Herb Wesson didn’t believe him
One of Schwarzenegger’s accomplishments was serving as the Governor of California from 2003 to 2011. According to Fandom, during that time, he got into a friendly argument with Assemblyman Herb Wesson.
Wesson, who is 5’5″ tall, was convinced that Schwarzenegger was shorter than people thought. He was so sure of this that he even once produced a measuring tape, offering to “settle this once and for all and find out how tall he is.” Schwarzenegger declined the opportunity.
Later on in his term, Schwarzenegger invited Wesson to his office for a negotiating session. In a good-natured jab at Wesson’s height, he left a pillow on the assemblyman’s seat. On the pillow was stitched the words “Need a lift?”
The issues around height didn’t interfere with them developing a friendship, and the men are still close to this day. Schwarzenegger seems to have a good attitude about the persistent rumors that he exaggerates his height. But that hasn’t made the accusations go away.
Claims about his actual height
The Washington Post reported that Schwarzenegger isn’t the only celebrity who claims to be taller than he actually is. A story in the magazine Men’s Health once stated that Charles Bronson was only 5’7″, although he claimed to be 5’11”. Another big star of the time who was famous for being vain, Burt Reynolds, is apparently 5’8″, instead of 5’11” as he claims.
And as for Schwarzenegger? He may actually only be 5’10”, which is a full four inches shorter than he’s reported to be.
What’s more, other people have claimed that he’s even shorter than that. The wife of the reporter from the Chicago Report said that she met Schwarzenegger at a party once. After comparing his height to hers, she believes that he’s no more than 5’5″.
If either of those guesses is true, the oft-photographed Schwarzenegger must use special shoes, or “lifts” to make him look like he’s taller.
Regardless of how tall he actually is, there will always be people who think he’ll never measure up. At the same time, there will also be others who will always look up to him.
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