Ben Weider

Last updated

Ben Weider
Born(1923-02-01)February 1, 1923
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
DiedOctober 17, 2008(2008-10-17) (aged 85)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Other namesThe President
OccupationPresident of the IFBB
Known forCo-creating the IFBB
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Relatives Joe Weider
(brother, deceased)
Eric Weider (son)

Benjamin "Ben" Weider, OC CQ CD (February 1, 1923 – October 17, 2008) was the co-founder of the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB) along with brother Joe Weider. He was a Canadian businessman from Montreal, well known in two areas: Bodybuilding and Napoleonic history.


Life and career

Ben Weider during his service in the 6th Duke of Connaught's Royal Canadian Hussars, 1942. Ben Weider, Canadian Military, 1942.jpg
Ben Weider during his service in the 6th Duke of Connaught's Royal Canadian Hussars, 1942.

Benjamin Weider was born on February 1, 1923 in Montréal, Québec, Canada, to Louis and Anna Weider, Polish Jewish emigrants from the town of Kurów in Poland. [1] [2] [3] He served in the Canadian Army during World War II.

In bodybuilding he founded and ran a physical fitness and sporting goods company bearing his name. He was IFBB president until October 29, 2006, when he announced his retirement.

In Napoleonic circles, Weider was known as a forceful advocate of the theory that Napoleon was assassinated by a member of his entourage during his exile in Saint Helena. He co-authored several books, Assassination at St. Helena and Assassination at St. Helena Revisited, with Sten Forshufvud and The Murder Of Napoleon, with David Hapgood about this. Weider also founded the International Napoleonic Society, of which he was the President, and wrote numerous articles for this organization. [4]

In 1975 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Officer in 2006. [5] In 2000, he was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec. On October 12, 2000, he received the French Legion of Honor, that country's highest honour, which was established by Bonaparte himself. Weider was also a 1984 nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, [6] a member of the Quebec Sports Hall of Fame, and a Commander of the Venerable Order of St. John. He also had several honorary doctorate degrees. The Institute on Napoleon and the French Revolution at the Florida State University History Department has recently created the Ben Weider Chair in Revolutionary Studies. In total, Ben accumulated over 66 awards and honours during his lifetime. [7]

From 1998 to 2005, Ben Weider was Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the 62nd (Shawinigan) Field Artillery Regiment, RCA. In 2005, he was promoted to Honorary Colonel of that military unit. In October 2006, Ben Weider unexpectedly retired as president of the IFBB.

In 2008, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 20th Anniversary Arnold Classic (only the eighth time in the competition's history that this award had been presented). [8]

Weider owned one of the most extensive collections of Napoleon memorabilia, including one of the bicorne hats worn by Napoleon during the invasion of Russia in 1812, of which only 12 are known to still exist today. Three weeks before his death, he donated his entire set of Napoleonic artifacts, over 60 pieces in all, to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, making it one of the largest collections of its kind in the world. Prince Charles Napoleon, great-great-grandson of Napoleon's youngest brother Jerome, was on hand to inaugurate the museum's new permanent gallery on Oct. 23, 2008. [9]


Weider died on October 17, 2008, at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal. [1] [2]

A movie called Bigger was released in 2018 on the life of Ben Weider and his brother Joe Weider. [10] Tyler Hoechlin played Joe Weider, while Julianne Hough plays Betty Weider, his wife, Aneurin Barnard acted in the role of Ben Weider and Calum Von Moger portrayed Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Published works

Related Research Articles

Mr. Olympia is the title awarded to the winner of the professional men's bodybuilding contest at Joe Weider's Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend—an international bodybuilding competition that is held annually by the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB). Joe Weider created the contest to enable the Mr. Universe winners to continue competing and to earn money. The first Mr. Olympia was held on September 18, 1965, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York City, with Larry Scott winning his first of two straight titles.

Sten Gabriel Bernhard Forshufvud was a Swedish dentist and physician, and amateur toxicologist who formulated and supported the controversial theory that Napoleon was assassinated by a member of his entourage while in exile. He wrote a book, in Swedish, about this in 1961, which was translated the following year as Who Killed Napoleon? He later published his ideas in English, in the 1983 book Assassination At St. Helena: The Poisoning Of Napoleon Bonaparte, a book on whose authorship Ben Weider, co-author of the book The Murder Of Napoleon, published the year earlier, which also advanced Forshufvud's ideas, collaborated.

Charles Tristan, marquis de Montholon French army commander

Charles Tristan, marquis de Montholon was a French general during the Napoleonic Wars. He chose to go into exile on Saint Helena with the ex-Emperor after Napoleon's second abdication.

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Gaétan D'Amours was awarded the title of Mr. Québec in 1960, Mr. World Canada in 1961, Mr. America also in 1961, and a 5th place as Mr. Universe in 1967. In 1997, he received the gold medal presented by Ben Weider, president of the IFBB for his major contributions to the bodybuilder movement and physical fitness of the Quebec youth. He had a bodybuilding studio for 50 years where he was a professor of physical education. He was also a believer in the Ben Weider food supplement products.

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  1. 1 2 "Montreal body building guru Ben Weider dies". October 18, 2008.
  2. 1 2 Grimes, William. "Ben Weider, 85, a Bodybuilding Pioneer".
  3. Carlson, Michael (December 2, 2008). "Obituary: Ben Weider". the Guardian.
  4. "Napoleon and the Jews" by Ben Weider Archived September 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  5. Governor General Announces New Appointments to the Order of Canada Archived November 15, 2007, at Library and Archives Canada
  6. Bodybuilder created an empire – The son of poor Polish immigrants went on to lift his discipline to international prominence and become a renowned philanthropist, author and Napoleonic scholar – Montreal Gazette – October 19, 2008 Archived October 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  7. 1,000 mourners honour Weider – Napoleon exhibit featuring his collection will go on: 'It was very important to him' – Montreal Gazette – October 21, 2008 Archived October 25, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. "Ben Weider and Jim Lorimer". Wilkins, Rob (April 30, 2008). Archived July 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. BONAPARTED – CanWest News Service – Montreal, QC – September 23, 2008 Archived September 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  10. "Bigger" via

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Ben Weider at Wikimedia Commons

Military offices
Preceded by
Antonio Lamer
Honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the 62nd (Shawinigan) Field Artillery Regiment, RCA
Succeeded by
Jacques Duchesneau
Preceded by
Gérard Dufresne
Honorary Colonel of the 62nd (Shawinigan) Field Artillery Regiment, RCA
Succeeded by