Eugen Sandow (April 2, 1867 – October 14, 1925), born Friedrich Wilhelm Müller, was a German pioneering bodybuilder known as the “father of modern bodybuilding”.
He left Prussia in 1885 to avoid military service and traveled throughout Europe, becoming a circus athlete and adopting Eugen Sandow as his stage name.
In Brussels he visited the gym of a fellow strongman, Ludwig Durlacher, better known under his stage name “Professor Attila”. Durlacher recognized Sandow’s potential, mentored and in 1889 encouraged him to travel to London and take part in a strongman competition. Sandow handily beat the reigning champion and won instant fame and recognition for his strength. This impetus launched him on his career as an athletic superstar. Soon he was receiving requests from all over Britain for performances. For the next four years, Sandow refined his technique and crafted it into popular entertainment with posing and incredible feats of strength.