Birth: Lac St. Jean, Quebec, September 24, 1888
Died: March 13, 1955
Career Highlights1914 - Lifted world record weight of 309.5 lbs with one hand
1914 - Lifted 201 pounds with one finger
1914 - Lifted platforms with 60 people weighing 7000 lbs
1931 - Reported to have had 1,500 bouts as a pro wrestler
Victor Delamarre was known as a kind, mild-mannered and charitable person. In fact, at 5′ 4″ tall and 150 pounds, Delamarre didn’t even look like a weightlifter. However, this small but powerful Montreal policeman accomplished extraordinary feats and forged his legacy in Canadian sport through brute strength.
He was one of 13 children. As a young boy, Victor showed a great love and talent for the athletic world by engaging in boxing, wrestling, and weightlifting – so much so that his father sent him into Hebertville to attend school and work on a farm. And so, Delamarre became known as the “Canadian Samson” after developing his strength as a hardworking lumberjack in back woods lumber camps. He was simply born to become a weightlifter – an artist who enjoyed lifting everything in sight, including his 150-pound uncle.
Delamarre challenged himself and other strongmen by performing entertaining feats of strength in front of large audiences across North America. On one occasion in 1914, he lifted a world record 309.5 pounds with just his left arm. At another performance, he managed to raise 201 pounds with just one finger. A consummate showman, Delamarre also lifted horses, automobiles, statues, and groups of people. His popularity even caught the attention of Hollywood—some of his accomplishments were captured on film by major studios.
In 1931, he put his strength to work in professional wrestling and is purported to have fought in more than 1,500 bouts. It is not known exactly when he retired from pro wrestling, but somewhere along the way he was married and became father to ten children.
He died in 1955 at the age of 67. In the town of Lac Bouchette, his home from 1903 to 1931, there is a new recreation centre named Parc Victor Delamarre. This honours the great little strong man from Quebec and commemorates an era in which Quebec itself was famous and proud for the strong backs and mighty forearms of its many professional strongmen.