Édouard Beaupré

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Édouard Beaupré
Edouard Beaupre.JPG
Édouard Beaupré compared to his father, Gaspard Beaupré, whose height was 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Born Joseph Édouard Beaupré Piché
(1881-01-09)January 9, 1881
Willow Bunch, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died July 3, 1904(1904-07-03) (aged 23)
St. Louis hospital, United States
Cause of death Tuberculosis
Nationality Canada Canadian
Occupation Strongman and Wrestler
Known for "Willow Bunch Giant"
Tallest strongman and wrestler
Height 8 ft 3 in (2.52 m)
Weight 375 lb (170 kg)
Parent(s) Gaspard Beaupré and Florestine Piché

Édouard Beaupré (French pronunciation: ​[edwaʁ bopʁe]; born Joseph Édouard Beaupré Piché January 9, 1881 – July 3, 1904) was a circus and freak show giant, wrestler, strongman, and a star in Barnum and Bailey's circus.

Life[edit]

Édouard Beaupré was born in the southern Saskatchewan town of Willow Bunch on January 9, 1881. 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 at the age of 17 he reached the height of 2.15 metres (7.1 ft) 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 ranch he began touring showing off 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, 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 7 feet 8.1 inches (2.34 metres) and he weighed 362 pounds (164 kilograms) and Cyr's height was measured at 5 feet 8.5 inches (1.74 metres) and he weighed 365 pounds (166 kilograms). The match was very short with Cyr winning the match.

Death[edit]

He signed a contract on July 1, 1904 with a circus promoter to appear at the St. Louis World's Fair. He became ill and died at a local St. Louis hospital on July 3, 1904. At the time he was 2.52 metres (8.3 ft). He was one of the five or six tallest men in recorded history.[1][2]

Burial[edit]

At the request of the circus the undertaker embalmed the body. However, as the circus refused payment, they decided to preserve the body which they then put on display in St. Louis. The body eventually found its way to a Montreal museum and then to the Université de Montréal. The body of "le Géant Beaupré" or "le Géant de Willow-Bunch" was brought to Willow Bunch in 1990, cremated and buried.[1][2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "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. 
  2. ^ a b Andre Lalonde (1994). "BEAUPRÉ, ÉDOUARD,". Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 13. University of Toronto/Université Laval. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 

External links[edit]