(James George Janos)
politician, actor, professional wrestler
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jesse “the Body” Ventura became governor of Minnesota in 1998 after he gained the nomination of the Reform Party and won the general election with 37% of the vote. Born James George Janos, he joined the Navy SEALs after high school and served for 6 years. His wrestling career began in 1975, the same year he won the Pacific Northwest heavyweight championship. It ended in 1984 when a blood clot was discovered in his lung. He next became a TV commentator for the sport until Hollywood called and he starred in a number of Arnold Schwarzenegger movies including Predator. In 1990, frustrated with the ineffectiveness of local politicians, he ran for mayor of his hometown, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, and held office for five years. He continued acting while mayor and appeared in Sylvester Stallone's Demolition Man. Since becoming governor of his home state he has dissociated himself from the Reform Party.