Arnold Schwarzenegger (Nickname: The Austrian Oak) is a highly successful man, with a career ranging from winning 5 Mr. Universe and 7 Mr. Olympia competitions, to being elected as The governor of California (2003-2011).
Combined with sheer size in his bodybuilding days, he appeared to stand well above average in height, as a truly imposing figure! These days, however, he has lost a significant amount of bulk and height, appearing closer to a mere mortal.
So, how tall was he during his prime years, and what is his height today? Well, let's investigate this through his height claims, what others say, and height comparisons to find out.
What is His Real Height?
In his prime before the age of 50, Arnold stood 6'1.75" (187.3 cm) tall for the majority of the day. After this, however, he started to lose height, and now well into his 70s he stands closer to 5'10.75" (179.7 cm), which is still over the average for an American man, and tall for a man of his age.
As a Teenager
Similar to other celebrities, Arnold was 6 feet+ as a teenager.
As a 15-year-old teenager, Arnold remembers weight training, saying:
"They encouraged me to go into bodybuilding. I was 6 feet tall and slender, weighing only 150 pounds". (1)
As an Adult
Arnold has claimed he is 6'2" on more than one occasion, for instance, when dispelling the rumors that he is shorter in person, saying:
"I'm 6'2" and "people look up to me" (2)
I believe that when first waking up in the morning, he was indeed 6'2", so with this measurement, he could confidently claim this height as the truth.
What Others Say
Arnold is regularly mentioned as being 6 feet 2, on Google, Wikipedia and in books, for instance, in the book Fantastic: The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger, it says that:
"The six-foot, two-inch-tall politician had orange brown skin, a color that was also a shade unknown to nature." (3)
Kevin Sorbo 6'3" (190.5 cm)
An example of Arnold being described as significantly shorter than he includes Kevin Sorbo, a legitimate 6'3" himself, who once mentioned he thought Arnold looked to be "about five-eleven" in person.
Height Measurement by Vince Basile
Former bodybuilder Vince Basile once chimed in during an argument about Arnold's height on the now inactive IronAge.us forums, mentioning that in the late 1960's he measured Arnie at Mit's Gym, Hawaii.
Apparently, Arnold had claimed a height of 6'2" (correlating with his other claims), and Vince measured him in the evening at 6'1.5". However, he also notes that due to natural shrinkage during the day, Arnie could have measured 6'2" tall at the start of the day.
Was He Tall For a Bodybuilder?
Successful Bodybuilders usually average between 5'3"-5'9" in height - short to slightly under the average for an American man. This is because being shorter gives you a smaller area to bulk on the muscle.
Arnold was very tall for bodybuilding, and during contests, contestants would be split into short, medium, and tall groups, who were then judged as a group, and individually. Naturally, he was placed into the tall category, and with this in mind, he once mentioned that:
"When I took my place in the lineup of the tall men, I noticed something strange. Although I was the tallest, I held the next-to-last number". (1)
Arnold also thought this was a trick, as someone registered late, deliberately:
"because the last one in line is the last one to pose; and that person has the advantage of making the last impression". (1)
Height VS Celebs Early Years
Clint Eastwood 6'3.25" (191.1 cm)
There are many pics of Clint Eastwood and Arnold standing together in Arnold's younger years, and Clint looks comfortably taller in them all. For instance, The 67th Annual Academy Awards, or The Warner Bros. Studio Rededication, 1990, where Clint looks to be 1.5 inches taller.
This is a consistent height difference, and when next to Clint, Arnold appears to be 6'1.75" tall.
Bruce Willis 5'11.5" (181.6 cm)
There are a good amount of photos of Arnold next to Bruce Willis in younger years, such as at Planet Hollywood in New York, where they are various instances of them standing side-by-side. Arnold is obviously taller in all photos, with a 2.5-inch difference between the pair.
So, next to Bruce, Arnold appears to be 6'2" tall.
Height VS Celebs Recent Years
By the time a man reaches the age of 70-80, due to spinal disc shrinkage, he can expect to stand 1.5-2 inches shorter than he did in his youth. Yet, due to accidents, injuries and significant weight-bearing throughout his bodybuilding days, Arnold has suffered more than the average height loss for his age.
Jimmy Fallon 5'11.5 (181.6 cm)
When appearing on the Jimmy's The Tonight Show in 2014, when standing next to each other Arnold is visibly shorter, and when he stands straight it looks to be by around 0.75 inches.
So when compared with Jimmy, Arnold looks to be 5'10.75" tall.
Gabrielle Luna 5'11" (181 cm)
At The Terminator: Dark Fate premiere in 2019, in Tokyo, Japan, and also in Seoul, South Korea, when Arnold and Gabrielle are standing side by side they appear very close in height, with Arnold looking to be around half an inch taller.
However, Arnold's footwear is also a little thicker, so taking this into consideration, with Gabrielle, Arnold appears to be 5'11" tall.
The Results - When compared to other celebs in his younger years, Arnold appears to be close to 6'2" tall. In recent years, however, he has lost a considerable amount of height, and looks to stand around 5'11" or slightly under today.
The Day Arnold Looked Tiny
Although too much of a difference in height for accurate height comparison, take look at this picture of Arnold next to Wilt Chamberlain: 7'1" (215.9 cm) + Andre The Giant: 7'0" (213.4 cm) where Arnold looks tiny!
The Bottom Line
After investigating Arnold's height, I believe he stood at 6'1.75" (187.3 cm) in his prime years, and today has lost a significant amount of height, standing closer to 5'10.75" (179.7 cm) tall.
Associated Family Heights
- Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger, Ex-Wife m. 1986–2017, 5'5.5"(166.4 cm)
- Patrick Schwarzenegger, Son, 6'0.5" (184.2 cm)
- Joseph Baena, Son, 6'0" (182.9 cm)
- Christopher Schwarzenegger, Son, 5'11" (180.2 cm)
- Christina Schwarzenegger, Daughter, 5'8.5" (174cm)
- katherine Schwarzenegger, Daughter, 5'8" (172.8 cm)
1: Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder: by ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER and Douglas Kent Hall, page 16, page 52
2: IMDb: Arnold Schwarzenegger Quotes
3: Fantastic: The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger By Laurence Leamer, Page 4