Édouard Beaupré

Édouard Beaupré (January 9, 1881 – July 3, 1904), was a Canadian circus and freak show giant, wrestler, strongman, and star of Barnum and Bailey's circus. He was one of the tallest men in recorded history, with a reported height of 251.4 cm (8 ft 3 in).[1][2]

Édouard Beaupré
Edouard Beaupre
Édouard Beaupré compared to his father, Gaspard Beaupré, whose height was 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Édouard Beaupré

January 9, 1881
DiedJuly 3, 1904 (aged 23)
Cause of deathTuberculosis
NationalityCanada Canadian
OccupationStrongman and wrestler
Known for"Willow Bunch Giant"
Tallest strongman and wrestler
Height230 cm (7 ft 6 12 in)
Weight170 kg (375 lb)
Parent(s)Gaspard Beaupré and Florestine Piché


Édouard Beaupré was born in the southern Saskatchewan town of Willow Bunch on January 9, 1880. He was the first of 20 children born to Gaspard Beaupré and Florestine Piché, a Métis. When he started school at seven, he was of average height, but at nine he was already 1.85 metres (6.1 ft), and at 11 he was over 2 metres (6.6 ft) tall. He stopped going to school at this time, but not because he was simple. He spoke French, English, Méchif, Cree and Sioux. He was an excellent horseman but by the age of 17 he had reached the height of 2.15 m (7 ft 12 in) and he abandoned the trade.[1]

His father worked as a freighter for the trader Jean-Louis Légaré, who was a cattle and horse rancher and also Édouard's godfather. For several years he accompanied his father on his trips to Moose Jaw, Regina and Montana.[1]

Abandoning life on the ranch, Beaupré began touring. He displayed his strength by bending iron bars and lifting horses onto his shoulders. He toured from Winnipeg to Montreal and stayed for a time in California.[1] While in Montreal, on March 25, 1901, Édouard wrestled Louis Cyr, a famous French Canadian strongman, who is regarded as the strongest man to have ever lived. Beaupré's height was measured at 230 cm (7 ft 6 12 in) and he weighed 164 kilograms (362 lb), whereas Cyr's height was measured at 180 cm (5 ft 11 in) and he weighed 166 kilograms (366 lb). The match was very short, with Cyr winning.


Beaupré signed a contract on July 1, 1904 with the Barnum and Bailey circus to appear at the St. Louis World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. He died of a pulmonary hemorrhage, a complication of tuberculosis, at the fairground hospital on July 3, 1904. At the time he was 23 years old and 2.52 m (8 ft 3 in) tall.

Travels after death

At the circus' request, the undertaker embalmed Beaupré's body. However, the circus refused to pay, so they decided to preserve the body which they then put on display in St. Louis. Through an unknown connection, the body made it to the Museum of Eden in Montreal and was put on display there, but the exposition drew such a crowd that the authorities shut it down. The body was then passed on to a Montreal circus, but they quickly went bankrupt and so dumped the body in a warehouse. It sat there until 1907, when two kids came across the body as they were playing in the warehouse. The Université de Montréal claimed the body, and, after doing some research and an autopsy, mummified Beaupré's body and placed it in a glass display case in the University.[1][2]


The family only discovered Beaupré's body was in Montreal in 1967, and so in 1975 began the process to try and return the body to Willow Bunch for a proper burial. The University refused and claimed rights over the body, saying that they wanted to continue to perform research and did not want the body displayed anywhere else. In 1989 the family once again tried, this time bringing the media with them as well to put some pressure on the University. This time the effort worked, and so the University decided they could cremate the remains, to prevent anyone from grave-robbing the body. It took two big urns to contain Beaupré's ashes. Finally, in 1990, the body of le Géant Beaupré or le Géant de Willow-Bunch was brought back to Willow Bunch. The family had a memorial service, and his remains now lie in front of the Willow Bunch Museum.[1][2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "le Musée Virtuel Francophone de la Saskatchewan (Édouard Beaupré)". Internet Archives (Wayback Machine). Archived from the original on May 13, 2006. Retrieved 17 June 2015.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  2. ^ a b c Andre Lalonde (1994). "BEAUPRÉ, ÉDOUARD,". Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 13. University of Toronto/Université Laval. Retrieved 17 June 2015.

External links


Fransaskois (pronounced [fʁɑ̃.sas.kwa]) are francophones or French Canadians living in the Prairie province of Saskatchewan. The term Franco-Saskatchewanian may also be used on occasion, although in practice it is rare due to its length and unwieldiness.

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This is a list of notable people who have or had a form of gigantism.

John Rogan (1865/1868?–1905)

Zhang Juncai (b. 1966)

Martin Van Buren Bates (1837–1919)

Lock Martin (1916–1959)

Brenden Adams (b. 1995), formerly world's tallest teenager until he turned twenty in September 2015

Rondo Hatton (1894–1946), actor who played the Creeper in the Sherlock Holmes movie The Pearl of Death

John Aasen (1890–1938), actor in silent films and vaudeville

Sandy Allen (1955–2008), pituitary gigantism, was recognized as the tallest living woman until the time of her death

Édouard Beaupré (1881–1904), "the Willow Bunch Giant" from Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan, Canada, was 8'2" at 23 years old

Felipe Birriel (August 16, 1916–March 15, 1994), El Gigante de Carolina, honored in Carolina, Puerto Rico

Jane Bunford (1895–1922), tallest woman ever until Zeng Jinlian

Eddie Carmel (1936–1972), "The Jewish Giant", photographed by Diane Arbus

John F. Carroll (1932–1969)

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Richard Kiel (1939–2014), actor who played Jaws in James Bond

Julius Koch (1872–1902), eunuchoidal-infantile gigantism; his legs ultimately had to be amputated due to gangrene

Don Koehler (1925–1981)

Sultan Kösen (b. 1982), tallest living man, a Turkish farmer

Cornelius Magrath (1736–1760)

Angus MacAskill (1825–1863)

John Middleton (1578–1623)

Gheorghe Mureșan (b. February 14, 1971), tallest NBA player in history

Patrick Murphy (1834–1862)

Väinö Myllyrinne (1909–1963), Finnish soldier

Suleiman Ali Nashnush (1943–1991), basketball player from Libya

Max Palmer (1928–1984)

Jóhann K. Pétursson (1913–1984), dubbed "The Viking giant"

André René Roussimoff (1946–1993), dubbed "André The Giant"

Alexander Sizonenko (1959–2012), tallest Russian during his lifetime, formerly a basketball player

Leonid Stadnyk (1970–2014)

Carel Struycken (b. July 30, 1948) in The Hague, Netherlands), actor with acromegalic-gigantism

Sun Mingming (b. 1983), a Chinese basketball player

Brahim Takioullah (b. 1982), second tallest living man, world's largest feet

Clifford Thompson (1904–1955)

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Vikas Uppal (1986–2007)

Robert Pershing Wadlow (1918–1940), recognized as the tallest human being ever

Paul Donald Wight (b. 1972), dubbed "Big Show"

Igor Vovkovinskiy (b. 1982), America's current tallest man

George Bell (b. 1957), America's former tallest man

Morteza Mehrzad (b. 1987), Iran's tallest man

Paulo César da Silva (b. 1963), Brazilian dubbed "Giant Silva"

Yao Defen (1972–2012)

Zeng Jinlian (1964–1982), believed to be the tallest girl teenager ever, but scoliosis kept her from standing erect

Zhan Shi Chai (1840s–1893)

Dalip Singh Rana (b. 1971), dubbed "The Great Khali", an Indian professional wrestler, actor, and powerlifter

Bao Xishun (b. 1951)

Anton de Franckenpoint (1600s)

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Louis Moilanen (1886–1913)

Sancho VII of Navarre (1157-1234)

Michael D. Lanier (1970-2018) member of the Lanier Twins, among the tallest actors, and the tallest man born in Michigan, at 7’8”

Broc Brown (b. 1998) A 20-year-old man in Michigan, ranked at 19 years old as the world's tallest teenager, at 7’8”, and is still growing 6” per year, and may surpass 8’3” Sultan Kosen as the tallest man alive.

Brandon Marshall (b. 2000) The tallest teenager in Europe and the current tallest teenager in the world, reaching 7’4” at age 16.

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Louis Cyr

Louis Cyr (French pronunciation: ​[lwi siʁ]; born Cyprien-Noé Cyr, 10 October 1863 – 10 November 1912) was a French Canadian strongman with a career spanning the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His recorded feats, including lifting 500 pounds (227 kg) with one finger and backlifting 4,337 pounds (1,967 kg), show Cyr to be, according to former International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness chairman Ben Weider, the strongest man ever to have lived.

Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan

Willow Bunch is a small community located in south central Saskatchewan, Canada, 190 kilometres (120 mi) southwest of the provincial capital of Regina. The population was 286 at the 2011 census.

Previous names for Willow Bunch have been Hart-Rouge and Talle-de-Saules. The area has seen influences from Métis and Fransaskois.

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