sports 26 Professional Athletes Who Went Into Politics  

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List of Professional Athletes Who Went Into Politics Ranked by Fame and Popularity. It seems that many athletes have opinions about politics. Some professional athletes have made the successful transition to become politicians later in life, after they retired from the game. Some athletes focus on local governments, while others are elected to national offices.

Who is the most famous professional athlete who went into politics? Arnold Schwarzenegger tops our list. Schwarzenegger held the professional body building title of Mr. Universe from 1968-1970 and the title of Mr. Olympia from 1970-1980. He also has had a successful career as a politician serving as the Governor of California from 2003-2011. On top of all that, Schwarzenegger starred in hit movies like “Terminator” and “The Running Man.”

Several NBA players have also went into politics. Kevin Johnson played basketball in the NBA, from 1987-2000, for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns. He is the current Mayor of Sacramento, a position he has held since 2008. Bill Bradley played basketball in the NBA from 1967-1977 for the New York Knicks. He also served as a United States Senator from 1979-1997, representing New Jersey.

Why do you think so many athletes go into politics? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Kevin Johnson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 26 Professional Athletes Who Went Into Politics
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Kevin Johnson played basketball in the NBA, from 1987-2000, for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns. He is the current Mayor of Sacramento, a position he has held since 2008.

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Age: 51

Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States of America

Profession: Basketball player, Businessperson, Politician

Credits: 2 Guns, Contraband, Empire State, The Philly Kid

Also Ranked

#28 on The Top NBA Players with No Championship Rings

#30 on People Who Should Be in the Basketball Hall of Fame

#4 on The Best Phoenix Suns of All Time

#63 on The Best Cleveland Cavaliers of All Time

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Arnold Schwarzenegger is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 26 Professional Athletes Who Went Into Politics
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Arnold Schwarzenegger held the professional bodybuilding title of Mr. Universe from 1968-1970 and the title of Mr. Olympia from 1970-1980. He also has had a successful career as a politician serving as the Governor of California from 2003-2011.

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Age: 69

Birthplace: Thal, Austria

Profession: Bodybuilder, Television director, Businessperson, Politician, Investor, + more

Credits: The Terminator, Predator, Total Recall, Pumping Iron

Also Ranked

#2 on The All-Time Greatest Action Stars

#8 on Celebrities Whose Names Are Hardest to Spell

#27 on The Best Ever Howard Stern Interviews

#3 on The Best Political Nicknames

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Jack Kemp is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 26 Professional Athletes Who Went Into Politics
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Jack Kemp was a professional Quarterback playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Calgary Stampeders, L.A./San Diego Chargers and Buffalo Bills. He also served in the United States House of Representatives, representing New York from 1971-1989.

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Age: Died at 74 (1935-2009)

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, Southern California, Contiguous United States, 90731, + more

Profession: Politician, American football player

Also Ranked

#88 on The Best Quarterbacks of All Time

#67 on The Smartest Professional Athletes

#14 on The Best Buffalo Bills of All Time

#55 on The Best San Diego Chargers of All Time

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Jesse Ventura is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 26 Professional Athletes Who Went Into Politics
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Jesse "The Body" Ventura had a successful professional wrestling career and he is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame.  He served as the governor of Minnesota from 1999-2003.

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Age: 65

Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America

Profession: Talk show host, Wrestler, Politician, Television producer, Author, + more

Credits: Predator, The Running Man, Off the Grid with Jesse Ventura, Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura

Also Ranked

#57 on The Greatest Pro Wrestlers of All Time

#35 on The Best WWE Superstars of the '80s

#76 on The Greatest WWE Superstars of All Time

#23 on The Best WWE Heels Ever

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