Jesse Ventura cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Jesse Ventura

American politician and professional wrestler

1951   -  

country of citizenship: United States of America
language of expression: English
educated at: Roosevelt High School, North Hennepin Community College
occupation: film actor, radio personality, writer, politician, professional wrestler, peace activist, sports commentator
award received: WWE Hall of Fame, Emperor Has No Clothes Award
position held: Governor of Minnesota

Jesse Ventura (born James George Janos; July 15, 1951) is an American politician, actor, author, political commentator, and retired professional wrestler who served as mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota from 1991 to 1995 and as the 38th governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003. He was the first and only candidate of the Reform Party to win a major government position. Ventura was a member of the U.S. Navy Underwater Demolition Team during the Vietnam War. After leaving the military, he embarked on a professional wrestling career from 1975 to 1986, taking the ring name "Jesse 'The Body' Ventura". He had a long tenure in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) as a performer and color commentator, and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2004. In addition to wrestling, Ventura pursued an acting career, appearing in films such as Predator and The Running Man (both 1987). Ventura first entered politics in 1991 when he was elected mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, a position he held until 1995. Ventura was the Reform Party candidate in the 1998 Minnesota gubernatorial election, running a low-budget campaign centered on grassroots events and unusual ads that urged citizens not to "vote for politics as usual". In a major upset, Ventura narrowly defeated both the Democratic and Republican candidates. The highest elected official to ever win an election on a Reform Party ticket, he left the Reform Party a year after taking office amid internal fights for control over the party. Since holding public office, Ventura has colloquially referred to himself as a statesman rather than a politician.As governor, Ventura oversaw reforms of Minnesota's property tax as well as the state's first sales tax rebate. Other initiatives taken under Ventura included construction of the METRO Blue Line light rail in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area and income tax cuts. His economic initiatives resulted in significant revenue losses to the state. Ventura did not run for reelection. After leaving office in 2003, he became a visiting fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2004. He has since hosted a number of television shows and written several books. Ventura remains politically has hosted shows on RT America and Ora TV. Ventura has repeatedly floated running for president of the United States as a third-party or independent candidate.In late April 2020, Ventura endorsed the Green Party in the 2020 presidential election and showed interest in running for its nomination. He officially joined the Green Party of Minnesota on May 2. On May 7, he announced he would not run because he would lose his employer-provided health insurance, but that if the Green Party offers him its nomination by late June, he will “reassess his situation”.
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