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The Weird Debate Over Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Height

There's a weird amount of debate over Arnold Schwarznegger's height and what's weirder is that there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer....

Arnold Schwarzenegger is many things; a bodybuilder, actor, and politician. But what is still up for debate is whether or not he is tall. Yes, despite all his accomplishments, debate has raged over Arnold Schwarzenegger’s height and the weird part is that a definitive answer hasn’t been reached

To be clear the true answer doesn’t matter, this is just a bit of fun. Don’t take anything here too seriously, consider this your disclaimer going forward. 

These questions have been going on for decades and reached a certain point where Schwarzenegger himself attempted to set the record straight on Schwarzenegger.com.

“I’m 6ft 2in,” he said as reported by Yahoo. “I’ve heard rumours that I’m really much shorter in real life – like 5ft 6in or something like that – which is ridiculous. I can assure you this is not the case.

“People look up to me, and not just because I do a lot of work in the community. I mean, most people really LOOK UP to me.”

That 6’2” measurement is rounded up from his official bodybuilding profile as Schwarzenegger was measured by former bodybuilder, Vince Basile, in 1969 as 6’1.75”.

Schwarzenegger in the 1960s

This measurement is disputed so much that an entire website is dedicated to the discovery of Arnold’s true height, ArnoldHeight.com. This site claimed that they “can safely say he is somewhere between 5’9” and 6’2”.”

The Case Against Schwarzenegger

Michael Miner of the Chicago Reader wrote during Schwarzenegger’s campaign for the Governorship of California in 2003. Miner’s wife attended a dinner Schwarzenegger was at in Los Angeles. She reported that he was “About five four or five six [sic].” 

He called several people who attended that dinner and found another journalist, Karen Brandon, who said, “I remember telling my friends at the time, ‘Gee, he doesn’t look anywhere as tall as he does in the movies.’”

A press aide told Miner that, “I’m taller than five six and he’s taller than I am. He’s not five six. He’s six feet tall.”

Miner emailed Roger Ebert who said “I’d guess 5-10 or 5-11[sic].” 

While random estimates from dinner guests likely aren’t terribly reliable, it isn’t the only evidence against the 6’2” claim.

On the DVD commentary for Conan: The Destroyer, co-star Sarah Douglas is 5’10” and claims that Arnold is “not taller than me in real life. And I’ve got high heels on so I’m amazed he allowed that to happen.”

On the set of the same movie there is a picture of Schwarzenegger alongside Andre the Giant and Wilt Chamberlain. Schwarzenegger is dwarfed in the photo however both of the other men are over 7” with Chamberlain at 7’1” and Andre at 7’2”.

Other actors have weighed in on the debate with Hercules’ Kevin Sorbo claiming that “Arnold Schwarzenegger’s about five-eleven… Yeah, he says he’s six three.” 

One stronger bit of evidence comes from ArnoldHeight.com in which Schwarzenegger is standing next to a Humvee. The car measures at 6’10” in height while Arnold is measured at 6’3”. He is wearing power-heeled shoes that can add roughly 2 inches to someone’s height, seemingly confirming that Schwarzenegger’s height is around 6’ to 6’1”.

Recently, Schwarzenegger posed for a photo with bodybuilder Phil Heath. Heath has a recorded height of 5’9” and in the photo Schwarzenegger is roughly the same height.

In 2008, Schwarzenegger told The San Francisco Chronicle Editor, Phil Bronstein, that he had in fact shrunk.

“I used to be 6-1 and three quarter. And I think now I’m 6-1. I shrank,” said Schwarzengger.

A provided image shows Bronstein, who claims to be 6’, alongside Schwarzenegger who does look an inch taller though the perspective could be warped. 

Schwarzenegger and Bronstein

In reality, Schwarzengger has likely shrunk with age as most people tend to do. Though apparently he’s shrunk more than his former rival Sylvester Stallone. In a 2022 Halloween post the pair appear to be the same height, despite Stallone always being reported shorter at 5’7” to 5’10”.

Will we ever know the true answer? Probably not, but the real question is why do we care so much?

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