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Robert Wadlow

Tall Person

Born: 22 February 1918
Died: 15 July 1940 (infection)
Birthplace: Alton, Illinois
Best known as: The world's tallest man
Robert Pershing Wadlow was, for much of his brief lifespan, the world's tallest man. He was 8 feet and 11 inches tall when he died at the young age of 22. Robert Wadlow was of normal height and weight at birth -- eight pounds, six ounces, according to his hometown Alton Museum of History. But during his childhood, pituitary problems led to his outsized growth. By age eight he was six feet tall; by age 16 he stood nearly 7'10" and weighed over 370 pounds. He graduated from high school with his class in 1936, and in his early adulthood Wadlow toured as a goodwill ambassador for the International Shoe Company. But because of his great size he couldn't feel his feet well; that led to a blister, which became infected and killed him at just 22. After his death, Robert Wadlow gained extra fame from his annual listing as the world's tallest man in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Extra credit:

Robert Wadlow was the only person in his family of unusual height, according to the Alton Museum of History. He had two sisters, Betty and Helen, and two brothers, Eugene and Harold Jr., all of whom were normal size and weight.

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