Cyr was born on the 10th of October 1863 in the lower region of Canada in a town called Saint-Cyprien also known as Napierville. He was the second born of seventeen children.
When he was a child, Louis Cyr was quick witted, wilful yet still gentle by nature. From his early years, it was clear that Louis had exceptional strength that he apparently got from his paternal grandfather named Pierre Cyr, who was a trapper and a hunter. Louis also got some strongman genes from his mother who was a woman of great physical stature and ability.
From a tender age, Louis strength made him a source of pride to his family who were highly intrigued by strong men and their remarkable feats of strength, which were popular at that period.
Louis attended school in his local village from the ages of nine to twelve.
In the winters, he worked in a lumber camp, and during the rest of the time, he worked on farms. At his places of work, Louis performed great feats of strength for the public, which impressed many of his workmates.
Louis Cyr's strongman career began when he was seventeen years old. In Quebec, Louis faced up against fellow Canadian strongman David Michand, who was at the time known to be Canada’s strongest man. Louis managed to beat Michand in a test of stone lifting, building up his strong man reputation.
In the year 1882, Louis married in Quebec and found work as a lumberjack. At the camp where he worked, he entertained crowds with one demonstration after the other. In order to get financially stable, Louis went with his wife to live in Lowell where the Franco-Americans who were already aware of Louis great feats of strength, affectionately received them.
After sometime, a man by the name of MacSohmer presented Louis with the opportunity to tour the Quebec and Maritime provinces performing and challenging other strong men. The tour only lasted for a few months and was not profitable to Louis.
After the failure of the tour, Louis went back to his parents and pleaded with his father to take hold of his career. His father accepted and started the Troup Cyr, which became a big success, as Louis was a natural showman.
Louis toured Canada and the United States between 1888 and 1892 when he and his fellow strongman Horace Barré returned to Canada and signed a one-year contract with Ringling Brothers. In 1894, the two started their own circus that was inclusive of jugglers, athletes, acrobats and strong men. They performed for five years in Canada and America.
Louis was also a police officer for a short period.
In 1900, Louis health deteriorated and Bright’s disease put a stop to his strongman career. Louis died at his daughter’s home in Montreal on November 12th 1912 at the age of 49 and was laid to rest in the town Saint-Jean-de-Matha. He is a strong man legend to this today.
Notable Feats Of Strength
- One finger lift of 534lb
- Bent Press 234lb
- Back Lift (with platform) of 18 men (4337lb)
- Rail Freight Car push up an incline
- Height: 5' 10"
- Weight: 310lb
- Neck: 21"
- Chest: 54"
- Waist: 45"
- Biceps: 22"
- Forearms: 19"
- Wrists: 11"
- Thigh: 33"
- Calves: 23"