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|Born||Sidney Harvey Craig
March 22, 1932
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
|Died||July 21, 2008
Del Mar, California
|Cause of death||Cancer|
|Education||California State University, Fresno|
|Known for||Jenny Craig, Inc.|
|Children||Denise Bourcq Merlone
Michelle Bourcq Weinger
Susan Craig McKenna
Sidney Harvey Craig (March 22, 1932 – July 21, 2008) was a Canadian-American businessman who was the business partner and husband of Jenny Craig, the fitness expert. Together, they founded the weight management company Jenny Craig, Inc. and expanded the company throughout the United States, Australia, and Canada.
Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Craig was raised in Los Angeles, California. He was a one-time child tap dancer who graduated from California State University, Fresno with a major in business and psychology. Later, he would commit $10 million to California State University, Fresno for its School of Business and Administrative Services. Fresno State renamed their School of Business to the Sid Craig School of Business.
While still a senior in college, he taught dancing at night for an Arthur Murray Dance studio. After graduation, he joined the company, finally ending up owning several franchises and serving on its board of directors.
Craig then went on to work for a chain of women's fitness salons called Body Contour Inc.
After Body Contour grew into 200 centers nationwide, it was sold in 1982 to NutriSystem. Because the buyout carried with it a non-compete clause in the United States, the Craigs moved to Australia to start the Jenny Craig weight-loss company there. The company became a great success and, after the non-compete clause expired, the Craigs brought the operations to Southern California, choosing Del Mar for their corporate headquarters. The couple sold the majority of their interest in the company in 2002. Nestlé purchased the company in 2006 for $600 million.
In the process of taking the company national, he hired a woman named Jenny Bourcq as director of the New Orleans center. She became the national director of operations for Body Contour. The couple married in 1979. It was the second marriage for both.
Over the years, the Craigs had been actively involved in horse racing and had owned a number of successful Thoroughbreds. Sidney Craig was a popular figure at the Del Mar Racetrack, where his horses were at times exceptionally successful. Craig was introduced to the Del Mar racetrack when he was 22 and serving in San Diego with the U.S. Navy. During this time, Craig became friends with Hal King, who was also in the Arthur Murray Dance studio business, and together they began frequenting the track. King would later become Craig's trainer and was his racing manager until he died in 1991. In 1992, Dr Devious, a colt bought for Craig as a present by his wife, won the Epsom Derby.
In 1995, the Craigs purchased a 237-acre (0.96 km2) Thoroughbred horse-racing stable, breeding operation and training center in Rancho Santa Fe called Rancho del Rayo.
In 2003, their horse Candy Ride won six races in a row, including the Pacific Classic Stakes, setting a Del Mar track record for 1 1⁄4 miles.
Craig died on July 21, 2008 after a five-year battle with cancer.
- Hevesi, Dennis (July 25, 2008). "Sidney Craig, 76, a Founder of Jenny Craig, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-25.
Sidney Craig, who with his wife, Genevieve, founded Jenny Craig Inc., the chain of weight-loss centers, which would eventually open more than 600 centers in four countries, died Monday at his home in Del Mar, Calif. He was 76.