Benjamin Weider was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on February 1, 1923 and just like his older brother was born with a passion for health and fitness. But Ben was more of an intellectual and when he died in 2008 had acquired several honorary doctorate degrees from Universities.
When he was growing up both he and his brother were constantly getting beaten by the kids on their way to school, which was part of the motivation to start training with weights and developing muscle. From Charles Atlas’s isometric training to Bob Hoffman’s articles on making muscle it was the start of something that would change the health industry forever.
Ben also served with the Canadian armed forces during World War II, which is where he started his fascination with Napoleon, which was to lead him to write three different books specifically about how Napoleon Bonaparte was murdered on St. Helena Island.
After the war Ben joined up with his brother in promoting the sport of bodybuilding, which was a totally new concept at the time, and something that many thought would never take off. But the popularity of the sport was given a huge boost from the tireless efforts of Ben and his brother Joe.
In 1946 Joe and Ben Weider started the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB) and Ben was appointed as the president of the IFBB which, is a position that he held until he unexpectedly retired from any further duties as president of the IFBB in 2006.
Ben was not only an effective and successful businessman but was also passionate about his dedication to Napoleon Bonaparte and he was the proud owner of the most extensive collections belonging to Napoleon. One of the memorabilia included a bicorne hat that was worn by Napoleon when he invaded Russia in 1812.
Only 3 weeks before his death Ben decided to donate his whole priceless Napoleonic collection of over 60 pieces to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. This made it the largest Napoleonic collection of its kind in the world. Ben Weider died on October 17, 2008 at the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal.
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