Upon completing his education, he took up duty with the United States Navy where he served until September 10, 1975. During this time, he was trained under the Navy Seal’s program which he completed in 1970 and eventually served in the Vietnam War.
Relieved from his military duties, he temporarily settled in California and started working as a bodyguard for Rolling Stone. He also joined a motorcycle gang. However, he did not continue in the same for long and returned to Minneapolis in 1975.
He took to studying further at the North Hennepin Community College but dropped out after one year. He then changed his name to Jesse Ventura and began training himself in wrestling and weightlifting, thanks to his large body and sound physique.
He made his debut as a wrestler in the Central States territory before moving over to the Pacific Northwest. He twice won the Pacific Northwest title and five times the tag team title before moving over to Minnesota to be part of the American Wrestling Association.
He spent a decade as a professional wrestler and was part of the World Wrestling Federation. Though he was never a top-notch fighter, his charisma and appeal won him a lot of attention and popularity.
Health problems led to an end of his in-ring career and thereafter he became a wrestling commentator. He worked as a color commentator at the WWF in 1985. He did a couple of talk shows and radio commentaries.
His successful stint as a commentator earned him a couple of film roles as well. He made his debut on the big screen with the movie ‘Predator’. Eventually he was seen in several other flicks such as ‘Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe’, ‘The Running Man’, ‘Thunderground’, ‘Repossessed’ and ‘Ricochet’.
Other than appearing in films, he made guest appearances on several TV shows such as ‘Zorro’, ‘Major League II’, ‘The X-Files’, ‘The Young and The Restless’ and so on. He also hosted several talk shows.
Following his health complication, he gave up on his wrestling career completely and took to politics. He contested for the seat of the Mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota in the 1991 elections. His popularity led him to emerge victorious in the elections.
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During his term as the Mayor of Brooklyn Park, he could not accomplish much on the legislative side due to his conflicting opinion about the Democratic and Republican council members. However, he did lower down crime rates and brought about an increase in interest of the people in local governance in his four year term until 1995.
He gave up thoughts on seeing re-election and jumped back to his wrestling career as a commentator for WWF’s rivals - World Championship Wrestling. He continued with his film career as well and was seen in a couple of films such as ‘Demolition Man’, ‘The Master of Disguise’ and ‘Batman & Robin’.
In 1998, he contested for the seat of the Governor of Minnesota as the nominee of the Reform Party of Minnesota. His unorthodox stand coupled with pro-choice, pro-gay rights and pro-gun belief helped him emerge victorious in the election defeating Republican and Democratic Party candidates.
As governor, he oversaw reforms of Minnesota's property tax as well as the state's first sales tax rebate. Other areas where he contributed include construction of the METRO Blue Line light rail in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area, and cuts in income taxes.
In 2002, he announced that he would not to run for a second term for the seat of the Governor. In 2003, he was succeeded in his office by Republican candidate Tim Pawlenty.
During his term as Governor, he wrote several politically themed books. Even after his departure from the public office, he continued to write and came up with several books including ‘American Conspiracies’, ‘Don’t Start The Revolution Without Me’, ‘63 Documents the Government Doesn’t Want You To Read’ and ‘DemoCRIPS and ReBLOODlicans’. His latest book include ‘They Killed Our President: 63 Reasons to Believe There Was a Conspiracy to Assassinate JFK’
In 2003, he inaugurated a cable television show, ‘Jesse Ventura’s America’ on MSNBC. Unlike other shows, it was broadcast once a week. However, within weeks of its launch, it was cancelled.
In 2004, he started off as a visiting fellow teaching a study group at Harvard University for the Spring 2004 semester at the Kennedy School of Government Institute of Politics
Till date, he has been politically active and has even contemplated for running for the seat of the President in the United States elections of 2016. Currently, he hosts the television show, ‘Off the Grid’.