Strongman: The Doug Hepburn Story

Strongman: The Doug Hepburn Story, by Tom Thurston


The Doug Hepburn Story

by Tom Thurston


  • Autumn 2003
  • ISBN 978-1-55380-009-5 (1-55380-009-5)
  • 6″ x 9″ Trade Paperback, 296 pages
  • Biography, Weightlifting

Tom Thurston has written the first biography of one of Canada’s athletic legends, Doug Hepburn. Born in Vancouver with a club foot and a severe alternating squint, Doug decided as a boy to surmount his disabilities by training with weights, setting his sights on becoming the world’s strongest man. And this he achieved. Doug is now known as the grandfather of modern “power weightlifting.”

Doug was World Weightlifting Champion in Stockholm in 1953, and he won the gold medal in the British Empire Games in Vancouver in 1954. Joe Weider and others claimed that Doug may have been the strongest man in history. But there was much more to Doug than his weightlifting. He went on to become an eloquent advocate for drug-free sport, and he made a reputation as an inventor. As a singer, he became well-known for his own compositions. Radio stations still play the Hepburn Carol each Christmas.

For those interested in building a super-strong body that will last well into old age, Doug’s complete, drug-free training secrets are revealed in a way that are easy to understand and employ. For those looking for the inspiration to tackle some of their own goals, Doug Hepburn presents a fine role model. For all Doug’s successes as a strongman, his life was filled with much sadness, many setbacks and even, at times, poverty. Thurston’s biography does justice to all aspects of Doug’s life, illuminating the fortitude with which he met his many challenges. A truly splendid biography with many black and white photographs.

“A poet, storyteller, inventor, singer, philosopher, and the world’s strongest man, Doug Hepburn was a unique and genuine Canadian hero. Strongman sensitively chronicles the life of a man who was unheralded in his own country but revered around the world.”
— Paul Bjarnason, Canadian Weightlifting Champion, 1966, 1970

“Doug Hepburn, world champion, deep thinker, writer, singer and giver. He was an inspiration to lifters world-wide and is missed greatly by all.”
— Stan Gibson, Canadian Record Holder, 1954 BEG